The Wetland Book pp 1123-1136 | Cite as

Doñana Wetlands (Spain)

  • Andy J. Green
  • Javier Bustamante
  • Guyonne F. E. Janss
  • Rocio Fernández-Zamudio
  • Carmen Díaz-Paniagua
Reference work entry


The Doñana wetlands in SW Spain constitute what remains of the original 180,000 ha of marshland in the Guadalquivir delta. The natural wetlands are protected in the National Park and World Heritage Site (54,252 ha), and include more than 3,000 temporary dune ponds fed mainly from groundwater and 30,000 ha of seasonal marshes dependent on surface flows. They are particularly famous for their avifauna, and hold more wintering waterfowl than any other European wetland. Wading birds exploit surrounding ricefields and fishfarms, and their breeding numbers are increasing. Doñana holds a high diversity of herpetofauna, mammals, invertebrates and plants, with several endemic species. The wetlands have high value for ecotourism and are the setting for the El Rocío pilgrimage. Alien fish and crayfish have had a significant impact. The quantity and quality of water entering the wetlands is under threat from groundwater extraction and other effects of agricultural and urban development.


Biological invasions Climate change Dune ponds Ecotourism Eolian sands Temporary marshes Waterfowl 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Wetland EcologyEstación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC)SevilleSpain

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