Areas of Action

Complexo húmido de Corrubedo SAC

Scientific description

The area of ​​the SAC Complexo Húmido de Corrubedo (ES1110006), located within the Atlantic biogeographic region, includes, from north to south, the coastal territory of the southernmost part of the Muros y Noia estuary where the complex is located. humid of Muro and Xuño and its associated dune system (in the area of ​​Porto do Son); the great sandy amphitheater of Corrubedo that constitutes the transition between the Muros y Noia estuary and the Arousa estuary; in addition to the island of Sálvora and its islets, Vionta, Con de Noro, Herbosa, Rúa, Insabela, Gaboteira, las Sagres and las Forcadiñas, located at the entrance of the Ría de Arousa.

The relief of the continental area of ​​this space corresponds to a low coast (cliffs of less than 10 m) and little uneven, where wide areas of beach develop from which dune ridges are formed, partially stabilized by vegetation. In the northernmost part, the coastline shows a smooth morphology, slightly indented, and fossilized by sandy formations, where dune formations coexist with the coastal lagoons of Muro and Xuño (Perez-Alberti 1993).

The link between the Noia estuary and the Arousa estuary is made through the Corrubedo dune complex, in which different geodynamic units coexist from the beach to the interior, ranging from the incipient dunes to the oldest dune formations, where the the large mobile dune of Corrubedo, over 1 km long, 200-250 m wide and 12-15 m high, advancing inland and on which seasonal winds continuously generate decimetric structures (Perez-Alberti 1993 ). The presence of this great sandy barrier favored the creation of a wide interior sedimentary space made up of stabilized dunes (grey dunes), humid intradune depressions, and coastal wetlands in contact with the sea through a system of channels of different dimensions (Carregal and Vixan).

The island of Sálvora, which does not host a stable human population, presents a typical modeling of coastal areas, with the appearance of very smooth surfaces, differentiating between more or less flat forms, presenting "whale backs", and others that are more upright, tabular or in ball-shaped, the result of diaclasado. The highest point in the archipelago is 73 m at Pico Gralleiro. Both in the northern part of the island of Sálvora and the central part of the islet of Vionta there are important dune systems of great naturalness given the reduced anthropic pressure that this archipelago has received, a situation that extends to all the ecosystems of the territory. Likewise, in the waters of the eastern face of the island of Sálvora there are important maërl beds of high diversity (Pena & Barbara, 2006).

In the area occupied by the SAC Complexo Húmido de Corrubedo (ES1110006) it is possible to find various environments characterized by a preferred type of vegetation and fauna. In addition to the sandbanks (characterized by psammophilous vegetation) and the humid environments (characterized by hygrophilous vegetation), there are also cliffs, coastal thickets and other environments such as small humid forests, thus comprising a coastal area of ​​undoubted ecological value, since the diversity of ecosystems in conjunction with its geographical location make it an area with a high number of species, many of them protected by different European, state or regional regulations, being a territory of special interest for herpetofauna and ornithofauna, including their migratory steps.

In addition to the large wetlands in the territory of the SAC Complexo Húmido de Corrubedo (ES1110006) there are small artificial freshwater wetlands, such as artisanal wells, irrigation canals and water points that, once agricultural use has ceased, function as small seasonal ponds. These, although artificial, are highly relevant for the conservation of fauna, especially herpetofauna due to the low salinity of the waters, which favors the reproduction of amphibian species. In addition to the great importance of these environments for the reproduction of amphibians and bird populations as a complement to natural environments, these small artificial wetlands improve the functioning of the humid complex since they can significantly increase the resilience capacity of the environment. .

Regarding the flora, it is worth mentioning the presence of a priority species of flora in accordance with CD 92/43/EEC, Omphalodes littoralis subsp. galaecica* present both in continental and insular territories. This taxon, a zoochoric dispersal therophyte, is considered endemic to the Iberian NW (Serrano & Carbajal 2004), inhabiting the semi-mobile gray dunes with little alteration. Also in this space is the orchid Spiranthes aestivalis, a plant that grows in the humid depressions of trasduna (Cortizo & Sahuquillo, 1999), being included in Annex IV of the CD 92/43/EEC. Another species of flora with a notable presence is the endemism Cytisus insularis, present on coastal cliffs forming communities with Ulex europaeus. Likewise, the dune species Linaria arenaria, finds in Sálvora the island that houses a greater number of troops in the Iberian Peninsula, representing a population of high interest for conservation.

Among the species of marine flora of interest for conservation, the maërl-forming corlinaceous algae, Lithothamnium corallioides, Phymatholithon calcareum (Annex V of CD 92/43/EEC) stand out, whose most abundant banks are found on the island and islets adjacent to Sálvora (Vionta, Noro and Herbosa). These beds have a high percentage of maërl, with a high proportion of live maërl (Pena & Barbara, 2006).

Regarding the fauna, according to Galán Regalado (2006) within the most significant groups present in the territory, firstly, birds linked to aquatic environments, mainly ducks and waders; secondly, the invertebrate communities present in the areas affected by the tides, and thirdly, amphibians and reptiles.

According to the available bibliographic references, the total number of bird species represented (without taking into account the sporadic and accidental ones) in the study area and included in some protection regulation amounts to more than 160, of which 70 would correspond to breeding birds, these representing 35% of the total in Galicia (SGHN, 1995; Marti & del Moral, 2003; Penas Patiño et al., 2004). The interest of the territory in the passage of migratory birds stands out, as more than 90 species are counted. To mention some of the bird species of interest for conservation, we can highlight the wintering Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), the Eurasian Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) and the Kitten Gull (Rissa tridactyla), the Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus) or the guillemot (Uria aalge), among others.

Regarding the herpetofauna, 80% of the amphibian taxa cited for Galicia are present in this territory, which responds to the presence of lacunar environments with favorable conditions for the development of this group of vertebrates and 100% of reptiles. present in Galicia. Among the most important amphibian populations, the endemisms of the NW Iberian Chioglossa lusitanica, Triturus boscai, Discoglossus galganoi and Rana iberica stand out. The group of reptiles is represented by Emys orbicularis, Lacerta schreiberi among others.

The marine character of the territory implies the regular presence of different marine mammals, highlighting the presence of the species of community interest Tursiops truncatus, Phocoena phocoena and Delphinus delphis. In addition to the cetaceans present in the territory, the otter Lutra lutra, or the chiropterans Rhinolophus ferrumequinum and Rhinolophus hipposideros are also present in the SAC Complexo Húmido de Corrubedo (ES1110006). Adding the total of continental mammals 28 species of which 16 are included in some legal regulation of protection at European, state or regional level.

As for the ichthyofauna of interest that can be found in this space, it is worth mentioning Alosa alosa, Alosa fallax, Petromyzon marinus, Chondrostoma arcasii and C. duriense. As well as the marine invertebrates Echinus esculentus and Eunicella verrucosa.

The high conservation values ​​of the Sálvora archipelago make it a remarkable space at the Spanish level, presenting a high interest for the interpretation of natural heritage by society. This led to its inclusion, among other figures, in the Parque Nacional Marítimo-Terrestre das Illas Atlánticas de Galicia (Law 15/2002), which receives around 450,000 visitors throughout the year, with the Sálvora archipelago receiving approximately 2, 5% of visits. The declaration of the National Park makes it possible to regulate visits in an orderly and sustainable manner (which are carried out by disembarking at the points set up for this purpose), through the corresponding Governing Plan for Use and Management (PRUG) approved by Decree 177/ 2018, avoiding significant effects on the state of conservation of natural components.