Habitat 3170* Temporary ponds


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012 Hector GarridoThey are temporary very shallow endorheic lagoons and ponds (they rarely exceed half a metre in depth) and they have a rain origin. In the Mediterranean climate, they are usually flooded in winter and spring, during particularly rainy years. They are wetlands rich in aquatic or amphibian fauna including branchiopoda (real living fossils), aquatic heteroptera, gasteropods and larvae of arthropods whose adult phase is as free life odonata or beetles. The birds use the biomass pulses that occur in these temporary ponds during their flooding phase as a food source, although they also have an important role as a watering hole and for cleaning feathers. They also have a high uniqueness of Mediterranean amphibious vegetation. These are indispensable habitats for reproduction of most species of amphibians.

Due to their endorheic origin, the type of substrate and the basin, they have a key influence on their characteristics, determining their salinity, trophic state or turbidity. Temporary transparent Mediterranean lagoons and ponds are usually established on rocky soil or siliceous sandy soils. The waters are generally transparent and unmineralised and have abundant vegetation. The temporary turbid Mediterranean lagoons and ponds are usually established on clay or loamy substrates. Due to this turbidity, aquatic vegetation may be reduced, depending on the depth of the pond.


In Europe, this habitat is found in the Alpine, Atlantic, Continental, Macaronesian and Mediterranean regions.
In Spain, this habitat is mainly distributed around flat areas and low lands, although it may also be found on bedrock, generally of a small size and brief nature.
In Andalusia, this habitat is located on the Atlantic coastline (provinces of Cadiz and Huelva) and in interior zones (Huelva, Malaga, Cordoba and Jaén).


  • Agriculture.
    Overexploitation of aquifers.
    Nearby roads, which causes fauna-related accidents, particularly critical during the two mass migrations of amphibians, which coincide with the access to the ponds for reproduction and during the dispersion phase of the year’s young.
    Clogging due to a loss of plant cover in the basin.
    Unregulated public use.
    Plantation of forest species with high water requirements (e.g., eucalyptus).
    Invasive exotic species.


Paso de fauna1

1. Legal protection.
2. Collection of data on the state of conservation.
3. Fauna passages.




Temporary Mediterranean ponds and representative species of these habitats: