avoceta

The rains fill the Coterillo pond with life

In the 1980s, the Coterillo pond in the Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar Regional Park was isolated from the saltworks water circuit, only receiving water from the ponds of the research center of the Institute of Agrarian and Alimentary Development of Murcia (IMIDA). Subsequently, this pond was totally isolated, increasing its salinity due to continuous evaporation processes. Since 2012, this pond has salinities above 120 gr / l, extreme conditions that limit the diversity of macroinvertebrates and led to the local extinction of Spanish killifish (Aphanius iberus).

However, the 300L / m2 of rainfall of these last 6 months have bathed the Regional Park have increased the water level of Coterillo pond and decreased its salinity. This event has allowed an explosion of invertebrates. These fauna components are an essential trophic resource for the waterbirds populations of the Regional Park. In this sense, the pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) has seized the opportunity of the pond current conditions, installing two breeding colonies on its islets that add up to a total of 82 pairs. This is the best record of pied avocet breeding in the San Pedro del Pinatar saltworks since 1990s.

The LIFE Salinas want that this to be not a one-time event. Therefore, among its actions is the establishment of a green infrastructure that allows to reconnect this pond with the saltworks circuit, to control the water levels and salinity in the optimal ranges for the development of biodiversity. In turn, this action will allow to recolonize and expand the Aphanius iberus distribution area within the Regional Park.

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