SCA-SPA of Foz-Masma estuary
The Ría de Foz-Masma is a natural jewel whose environmental value is endorsed by different protection figures at European level, within the Natura 2000 Network such as: Special Conservation Area (SCA) and Special Protection Area for Birds (SPA). It is also included in the inventory of Galician wetlands and in the catalogue of IBAs (Important Bird Areas).
The estuary is an important enclave of coastal marsh vegetation due to the presence of sea turtles. It is also one of Galicia’s strategic points for bird-watching, as it is home to interesting populations of aquatic birds, especially during the autumn and winter migratory passage.Thus, for example, it is of national importance for waders and regional importance for species such as the little egret, the grey heron, the grey ploverandthe pigeon, among others. The presence of the Western osprey and the Western marsh harrier, better known as the Eurasian marsh harrier, which are of great interest to ornithological enthusiasts, is particularly noteworthy.
The beach and dune area of Altar, at the mouth of the estuary, make up a propitious habitat to the nesting and breeding of a small and exceptional bird, the Kentish Plover, included in the Galician Catalogue of Threatened Species with a specific Conservation Plan. The Galician population is the only one existing in the entire Cantabrian-Atlantic strip of Spain. That is why everyone’s collaboration is especially important.
Apart from being a paradise for birds, it is also a paradise for lovers of water sports such as surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, canoeing and sailing.
The Special Area of Conservation is located along the middle and lower course of the river Masma, which is considered a Special Landscape Interest Area according to the Galician Landscape Catalogue. Its banks are populated by vegetation typical of these environments, including birch trees, ash trees, willow trees and oak trees, among others. In this river basin, the presence of the salmon stands out, being one of the few salmon rivers in Galicia, as well as the existence of river mussel (protected species), of sea trout or lamprey, given its scarce presence in other Galician rivers.
Within the natural area there is also a protected habitat called «Queirogais secos atlanticos costeiros de Erica vagans«, as well as the presence of “Limonium dodartii”, better known as salted chard and catalogued in a special protection regime.
Plans to enjoy this natural space