Laguardia Lake Complex
The wetlands that form this lake complex of Laguardia have at least five different habitat types of community interest and a dozen species of birds.
The lake complex made up of four wetlands three of which, named Carralogroño, Carravalseca and Musko, are naturally occurring endorheic pans. For its part, the Prao de la Paúl is of artificial origin, so unlike the other three, it contains dammed fresh water that comes from a stream.
Since 1995 these lakes, due to their marked biodiversity, have been classed as a Protected Biotope, an acknowledgement to which that of Special Area of Conservation is added. Some of the reasons that explain these acknowledgements lie in the fact that they present at least five types of habitats of Community interest. Similarly, it is worth noting the existence of at least twelve species of different birds in the complex, as well as many other normal migratory ones.
Moreover, there are at least four endangered species as listed in the Basque Catalogue of Threatened Species, that appear in these wetlands, along with another four considered vulnerable, eight rare and eight of special interest.
As for the flora, extremely unique plants grow within the lakes, while in the surrounding area there are grasses and reeds that are totally adapted to the salinity of the waters. It is advisable to take binoculars or a telescope when visiting the lakes, Prao de la Pául being the best wetland to visit as it has a path that borders it.
All of the lakes represent exceptional ecosystems because of the wealth and diversity of the life forms that inhabit them. In areas where water is relatively scarce, their value becomes outstanding.
Although the Protected Biotope can be visited throughout the year, it is between September and March when the largest number of birds can be observed.
Given the elusive nature of these species, it is advisable to make as little noise as possible and be equipped with binoculars or telescopes.
The best wetland to visit is Prao de la Paul, as there is a path that borders it and special areas for bird watching.
This Protected Biotope is located in the centre of the Rioja Alavesa region, near Laguardia, from where it can be seen.