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Gallocanta

 

 

 

 

drapeau franceDescription

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The lake of Gallocanta is a shallow inland saline lake of 1,400 hectares.. It is situated at an altitude of 990 metres in the heart of the Iberian Chain, in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula, between the provinces of Zaragoza and Teruel (Aragon community).

Underground water has an important influence on the lagoon water level. The Gallocanta Lagoon is the biggest inland brackish lagoon in Europe with 7 kilometers long and 2.5 kilometers wide in its central part. The climate of the area is Mediterranean-continental, with temperatures ranging between -21 °C in winter and 30°C in summer. Rain is uncommon and irregular (450 mm a year), but it snows in winter and there are storms in summer.

The lagoon is surrounded by halophytic vegetation. In some other more localized places, the vegetation is higher (sedge and reed). The surrounding landscape is open, with many corn fields and also a few sunflower fields. All of them are very productive. Maize production began a few years ago thanks to irrigation. Dryness has been extreme in the past years. The importance of floods is decreasing, especially in autumn and winter, and dryness is very strong in summer. The most important floods occurred in the 70s, when we counted the highest number of water birds.

The period 1989/1992 was the last period of important flooding in the lagoon. 260 species of birds have been noticed in this varied biotope, including 126 nesting species.