Laguna de la Ratosa Natural Reserve
Laguna de la Ratosa (La Ratosa Lagoon) Natural Reserve is situated between the municipal districts of Alameda and Humilladero - in the western end of the province of Málaga, near the border with the province of Seville. This lagoon - declared a Natural Reserve in 1999 - covers an area of 24 hectares.
It is found at the lowest elevation of any endorheic basin and originates from a natural aquifer outflow. Precipitation levels control the water level in the lagoon as well as its drastic seasonal regime, marked by annual and inter-annual periods of flooding and drought that determine the biological communities living here.
Due to the fragile nature of this wetland and the biotic communities it harbours, access inside the area of the natural reserve is restricted to those carrying out research or conservation duties.
Primarily activity of the area is the olive grove cultivation. Lakeside vegetation is sparse, consisting primarily of reeds, rushes and shrubby seablite, which has adapted to the saline substrata. Crop fields surround the lake.
Local birdlife, which is similar to that in nearby Fuente de Piedra lake, is of particular note. Consequently, flamingos, anatidae, stilts, avocets, purple swamp hens, etc. are all to be found.