Laguna de la Veguilla Natura Indomita

A PIECE OF COAST IN THE HEART OF THE DRY PLAINS OF LA MANCHA

Over 450 wetlands have been identified in the vast territory of Castile-La Mancha, of which 67 are part of the Biosphere Reserve of La Mancha Wetlands and 52 of them are protected within the Natural Areas Network of the region. In total 9,000 hectares of wetlands involved in a wide protected area of over 294,000 hectares that are distributed unevenly across the region.

 

Laguna de Manjavacas

 

Among them the most outstanding are those located at the apex of the provinces of Toledo, Ciudad Real, Albacete and Cuenca, which are popularly known as “La Mancha Humeda”. While the lagoons of the Campo de Calatrava are noted for their phreatomagmatic volcanic origin and the beautiful Ruidera Natural Park is known for its springs of carbonated water, the origin of the lagoons in the La Mancha Humeda must be sought in endorheic (trapped) waters which correspond to missing sections of rivers that haven’t find outlet, forming beds of great beauty and great biodiversity, a network of salinity waters that provides one of the rarest and richest lagoon complex in Western Europe.

 

laguna lasyeguas

 

Home to an exceptional halophilic flora (adapted to the saline environment of the soil), the traveler can discover in La Mancha Wetlands an unique waterfowl which includes huge concentrations of birds related to these rare wetlands, species that found in this string of lakes ideal conditions for breeding, migration and winter feeding: Black-Neck Grebe, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Shelduck, Shoveler, Wigeon, Marbled Teal, Garganey, Red-Crested Pochard, White-Headed Duck and Purple Swamphen, among others, are the some of the main key species of the area.

 

Flamenco Phoenicopterus roseus Natura Indomita

 

Keen birdwatchers will also enjoy the views of dozens of Pied Avocets, Stilts, Stone Curlews, Collared Pratincoles and a plethora of Plovers, Sandpipers, Stints (Temminck), Godwits, Terns (Whiskered, Gull-Billed & Common), Larks, Pipits, Aquatic Warblers and even Bearded Tits and Reed Buntings.

 

Bigotudo jovencito

 

Common Cranes form large flocks in Winter, and in the surroundings of every lagoon it’s possible to find some of the best populations of steppe birds of La Mancha, including Great & Little Bustard, Pin-Tailed Sandgrouse, etc.

 

Ganga Iberica en el Guadiana Natura Indomita

 

Not surprisingly the lakes of La Mancha are the third most important wetlands in Spain (only behind Donana and the Ebro Delta), and the first important habitat for waterfowl throughout the interior of the Iberian Peninsula.

 

The La Mancha Humeda lagoons are located in less than one hour from Almagro.

 

Vicente Malagon. Revised 2019.

 

Cerceta Carretona Garganey Natura Indomita Cuellinegro en Primavera Natura Indomita