Eurasian Stone curlew

Saladares del Guadalentín

In the center of the province of Murcia is a protected area called the Saladares del Guadalentin. It is located next to the Guadalentin River.

This protected space consists of a long saline plain with a particular climate, classified as crypto-wetland. This peculiar humid continental climate is characterized by frequent rains throughout the year. Although the soil is semi-arid, the subsoil is humid. Both systems are necessary.

All this makes the Saladares del Guadalentin a unique ecosystem in Europe. It is a singular space that deserves to be preserved. This protected space consists of almost 3,000 hectares, located between the municipalities of Totana and Alhama de Murcia.


The vegetation in this space is original and not at all common, thanks to the characteristics explained above.
Given the peculiarity that underground water can be found below the soil's surface, there is a presence of phreatophilic plants—that is, plants whose roots are accustomed to being in contact with water.

Some characteristic species are salicornias, phragmites, Sempervivum, and Lycium intricatum. The vegetation of the Saladares del Guadalentin consists of low-growing plants.

They are distributed in scrub formations. There are many botanical species used to the salinity of the land.
In this ecosystem, there are practically no trees because the landscapes are somewhat desert-like. Because it is semi-arboreal, the space has only the tamarisk.

The Saladares del Guadalentin are synonymous with biodiversity, hosting multiple plant species. Among them are rare botanical varieties, including plants with African and Asian origins.


As we have seen, the flora here is peculiar. It has the ability to survive in ecosystems that do not have trees. The same goes for the animals.


In the Saladares del Guadalentin, one can find the only bird that forms the Tetrax genus, called a little bustard. Other very beautiful birds here are the black-bellied sandgrouse and the European roller. Among the wading birds is the stone-curlew, a small bird.

There is also the Montagu's harrier, a bird that depends on the presence of rodents and insects as prey for its food. Within the group of passerine birds are the spectacled warbler and the lesser short-toed lark.

Finally, among the species of waterfowl are the common moorhen, the black-winged stilt, the marbled duck, and the little grebe.

Mammals, Amphibians and Arthropods

One of the most predominant insects is the beetle. Among the spiders, those of the Argiope genus are common.

The common hedgehog and the bat are classic species in this ecosystem within the group of mammals. Similarly, there are hares and rabbits.

Projects have been developed to save a bird characteristic to the Iberian peninsula: the lesser kestrel. Another objective of these projects is to promote the procreation of the white-headed duck.