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Laguna de Fuente de Piedra

Fuente de Piedra Lagoon, the largest in Andalusia, with its 1,400 ha, is a unique location within the wet zones of the Western Mediterranean. It is home to the largest colony of flamingoes to be found anywhere in the Iberian Peninsula, second in importance in Europe after France Camargue. It is one of a group of lagoons in the Antequera area, which includes other nature reserves and covers some 3,000 hectares.

A Reception and Interpretation Centre has been set up to welcome researchers from Spain and abroad.

Elliptical in shape, the lagoon is replenished by rainfall and the underground flow of water provided by aquiferous land. It is also irrigated by Santillán and El Humilladero streams.

Due to the extremely saline nature of the substrata, the increase in evaporation in spring leaves crytallised salt on the surface. This resource was exploited from Roman times until the 1950.

Typical lagoon vegetation adapted to saline soils. Canes, reeds, salt cedars, sedges, rosebays. Mediterranean scrub and cereal crops.

The largest flamingo colony in the Iberian Peninsula. The old dykes, walls and canals which were built to aid salt extraction are today essential to the nesting of the flamingo and other aquatic birds such as the Geochelidon nilotica, Larus genei, Ciconia ciconia, common goose and Anas clypeata. Other species which visit the lagoon in winter or during migratory periods include the sandpiper and a number of birds of prey.

Similar characteristics are displayed by the neighbouring lagoons of Campillos and La Ratosa, which, along with Fuente de Piedra, contribute to the maintenance of a number of aquatic bird communities.

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