Birding Tours Uruguay offers expert ornithologist guides, with great experience in the important bird areas in the coastal locations of Maldonado and Rocha.
Arroyo Maldonado Wetland
IBA: UY 016
Arroyo Maldonado Wetland
IBA: UY 016
Arroyo Maldonado Wetland
IBA: UY 016
Destinations: Arroyo Maldonado Wetland / José Ignacio Lagoon / Garzón Lagoon
IBAs: UY 016/017/018
Destinations: Laguna José Ignacio / Laguna Garzón / Laguna de Rocha
IBAs: UY 017/018/019
Destinations: Castillos Lagoon / Eastern Wetlands
IBAs: UY 020/021
Important facts: Locations of Maldonado and Rocha - Uruguay
397 sp. Bird species observed in the coastal departments of Maldonado and Rocha - Uruguay.
Ramsar Sites: Protected Landscape "Laguna de Rocha"
UNESCO Biosphere Reserve "Eastern Wetlands & Atlantic Coast"
Birdlife International - Important Bird Areas:
IBAs: UY 016 Wetland Arroyo Maldonado / UY 017 Laguna José Ignacio / UY 018 Laguna Garzón / UY 019 Rocha Lagoon / UY 020 Castle Lagoon / UY 021 Eastern Wetlands
Birdlife International - Endemic Bird Areas:
EBAs: “Coastal Uruguay Marshes” / “Argentine Mesopotamian Grasslands”
IUCN Red List - Species of Threatened Birds
Locations Maldonado and Rocha
Check List - Source: birdlife.org
Amenazadas Globalmente / Globally Threatened
Casi Amenazadas / Near Threatened
The IBA boundaries are determined by Route Eugenio Saiz Martínez west, route 9 north, east rural road that runs parallel to the Arroyo Garzón and continues to Route 10. To the south, the IBA is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean.
It is a site with a high number of aquatic species, standing out as species that define the IBA are Tryngites subruficollis and Phoenicopterus chilensis. The first is a long-distance migratory species, nesting in northern North America and concentrated in a few places in the southern cone of South America (Lanctot et al. 2002, Lanctot et al. 2009). In the area there are records of Larus atlanticus, although it is estimated that the number of individuals is low (Rabau com. pers. In COU database). Among many species of waterfowl present in the area stand out several migratory such as Pluvialis dominica and Calidris fuscicollis, the large concentrations of Fulica armillata and the presence of ducks and swans, such as Cygnus melancoryphus and Coscoroba coscoroba (Rabau com. Pers. In COU and CNAA).
One of the most significant values of the area is the existence of the largest and best preserved remnant of the country of forest and coastal psamophyll scrub. This plant community was characteristic of the uruguayan coast, but has been severely fractionated by the anthropic transformations of the coastal landscape. Globally threatened amphibian and reptile species such as Darwin's toad (Melanophryniscus montevidensis) and Acanthochelys spixii live in the area.
The IBA boundaries are determined by routes 15 to the east, 9 to the north and the route that links Las Garzas and Route 9 to the west. To the south, the IBA is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean.
Among regular birds in the area there are both resident and migratory species (Rudolf 1996). Several of them have conservation problems globally, such as Phoenicopterus chilensis, Tryngites subruficollis, Larus atlanticus, Xolmis dominicanus, Spartonoica maluroides and Limnoctites rectirostris. The latter species is also of restricted distribution – or endemic to the region – (s035) (Stattersfield et al. 1998). In turn, the site stands out for the important concentrations of Cygnus melanocoryphus, Coscoroba coscoroba, Tryngites subruficollis, Sterna hirundo, Sterna hirundinacea and Rynchops niger, among others (Rudolf 1996, Alfaro & Clara 2007). From the censuses carried out, it is estimated that more than 1% of the biogeographical population of Black-necked swan and Coscoroba is regularly present in the area (Vaz-Ferreira & Rilla 1991; CNAA 1991; Sarroca 2008). Of particular interest to the area is the high density of Tryngites subruficollis, a long-distance migratory species with conservation problems, since it is home to 6.6% of the world's population of the species (Aldabe & Blanco 2008, Lanctot et al. 2009). Pluvialis dominica is also an abundant species on the site. In the area has been noted the nesting of several species such as Larus maculipennis, Ardea cocoi and Sterna superciliaris; Alfaro & Clara 2007; Macarena Sarroca com. pers.; Abreu, Aldabe, Caymaris & Rocca, data not published).
Apart from the remarkable diversity of birds, in the lagoon of otters inhabits a regular population of carpinchos (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris). There are remnants of native flora in good condition. Leopardus braccatus and Acanthochelys spixii, both species with conservation problems globally, have been registered. The endemic and threatened Darwin´s toad (Melanophryniscus montevidensis) is a regular presence in the area (Sarroca et al. 2009).
Area boundaries are defined by Route 9 to the north, Route 16 to the east, Route 10 to the south. The western boundary is determined by the path that joins Routes 10 and 9, at the height of Lomas de Narvaez.
Like other lagoons with similar characteristics, it presents a high biodiversity, particularly in birds. In the Castillos Lagoon Wildlife Refuge, an area included in the IBA, 235 species of birds were recorded (Gambarotta et al. 1999). Several of the species recorded on this site present conservation problems globally, such as Xolmis dominicanus, Xanthopsar flavus, Spartonoica maluroides, Limnoctites rectirostris, Phoenicopterus chilensis and Tryngites subruficollis (Gambarotta et al. 1999; Lanctot et al. 2002). The IBA is used as wintering areas for migratory birds nesting in North America and South America. Also highlighted on the site are the high concentrations of Cygnus melanchoryphus; the total number exceeds 20,000 (inference from Gambarotta et al. 1999). Finally, the presence of Spartonoica maluroides, a species restricted to the Pampean biome (Stotz et al. 1996).
The lagoon has a high diversity of tetrapod vertebrates. On a site within the IBA, Gambarotta et al. (1999) report 13 species of amphibians, 15 of reptiles and 30 of mammals. The Darwin´s Toad (Melanophriniscus montevidensis), a species endemic to Uruguay and considered threatened globally, was registered. In addition, the presence of two species of fish stands out: Austrolebias viarius (García et al. 2009) and Austrolebias gymnoventris (Costa 2006), which are endemic to the Castillos Lagoon basin and the middle basin of the Cebollatí River (Nin et al. 2010). In terms of vegetation, Butia palms stand out in the area; an endemic species of high priority for conservation at the national level (PROBIDES 1999, Rivas 2005). The mount of ombus (Phytolacca dioica), of great scenic beauty and uniqueness, develops like a cord on the lagoon.
The Eastern Wetlands is an extensive area of wetlands and natural grasslands on flooded soils, located in the southeast region of the country. It is part of the Merín Lagoon basin, and extends over much of the department of Rocha, and to a lesser extent over the departments of Thirty-Three and Cerro Largo. Rice activity is predominant in the area. This IBA is considered one of the "Wild Areas" globally and is within the Eastern Wetlands Biosphere Reserve.
Important populations of several threatened species are regularly present in the area. They stand out, for their abundance in relation to other regions of their distribution, the populations of Xanthopsar flavus, Heteroxolmis dominicana and Sporophila palustris. In turn, Limnoctites rectirostris is common to record in the area. Of particular interest is the presence of Sporophila palustris Morpho "Zelichi", which has been recorded on several occasions but its status of abundance is not entirely known. It is worth noting the importance of the IBA as a wintering site for Pluvialis dominica, Calidris melanotos and Tryngites subruficollis. In turn, it is a site that houses numerous populations of waterfowl belonging to the families Anatidae and Threskiornitidae.
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