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Marjal

Introduction

The Pego-Oliva Marsh Nature Reserve is located on the coast between the provinces of Valencia and Alicante, and covers a surface area of 1255 hectares. This marsh land was declared regional nature reserve in 1994. The marsh land is situated at the south of the gulf of Valencia and is one of the most important biodiversity areas of the Mediterranean coast. It is perhaps the most important wet zone of the Spanish Mediterranean coast. It is surrounded by the Mostalla, Migdia and Segària mountain ranges, forming a horseshoe shape open to the sea, in the centre of which lies the marsh. It is fed by the waters of the Bullent-Vedat rivers in the north and the Racons-Molinell rivers in the south and by the Mostalla and Segaria aquifers. A network of ancient irrigation ditches and canals transport water from underground sources through the marsh, which gushes from tributaries and springs known in the area as ullals.

 

Its great relevance has furthermore meant that this marsh is also included in the Ramsar Agreement (1971) for worldwide protection of wetlands, as well as being a zone for special protection for birds (ZEPA zone) and forming part of the European Economic Community's Natura 2000 Network.

 

Natural Park Information Centre: (+34) 679 19 52 27
Email: parque_pegooliva@gva.es 
Web: Natural Park Marjal Pego-Oliva

 

Map

Mapa Parque Natural Marjal Pego-Oliva

 

How to arrive

- Road CV-715 from Oliva to Pego, taking the turnoff to Dénia by road CV-728.
- The N-332, taking the road CV-678, Les Deveses, crosses the Reserve from east to west.
- Road CV-700 Pego-El Verger, going round the Reserve at the southern end.

 

The closest exits from the AP-7 are the ones signposted for Oliva (nº 61) and Dénia (nº 62).

 

In the Muntanyeta Verda there is a picnic area and an enabled car park. From there you can access the wooden walkways of the Salinar River and the viewpoint. It is also the beginning of the routes and the ornithological itinerary.

 

Entidad adherida a Birding CV
 

Flora and fauna

FLORA

The Pego-Oliva marsh has an extensive swampy area in which there are successive parts of open water with islets of vegetation which constitute the main feeding and nesting zone for water fowl. Wetlands are the home of flora and vegetation characterised by the presence of some extremely fragile and rare underwater plant life. Many of the plants are genuine relics and are at present in a regression process threatening their survival. The alteration that they undergo has led to measures being taken to ensure their conservation. The marshland flora is determined, both by the biogeographical and physical characteristics of the territory and by the ones that existed in the past.

 

The vegetation is a result of the ecological conditions and human activity. Studying this allows one to learn the potential of the area and thus be able to implement appropriate territorial planning. The main flower asset of the nature reserve consists of the extensive meadows of submerged vegetation, known as macrophytes, which are the food for countless invertebrates, fish and the basic diet of coots and diving ducks. The most representative plant species of the Pego-Oliva marsh are: the reed, the giant reed, cattail, bulrush, yellow flag iris, white water lily, pondweed, duckweed, etc.

 

The water communities are enriched by the presence of thallophytes, bryophytes and floating water plants. In spite of its cosmopolitan distribution, the water lily is a difficult species to find since it requires a high quality of water. In the nature reserve this can be located in the higher areas of the Marsh.

 

 

FAUNA

Pego-Oliva Marsh nature reserve is of great importance as regards the fauna that this shelters. The disappearance of a great many of the wetlands of the Mediterranean shoreline over the last few centuries means that today the animals using these habitats are genuine rarities. The excellent condition of the marshland water means that there can be populations of invertebrates such as gambete prawns with a significant presence of the endemism Dugastella valentinaor the pechinots. As regards the fish we should stress the presence of the samaruc and of the threespined stickleback. Amphibians are even more plentiful in the marshland, with significant presence of the common frog. The most characteristic reptiles are the European pond turtle and the Caspian turtle, as well as two species of water snake other snakes here being the Montpellier's snake, the ladder snake, and the horseshoe whip snake. La Marjal has been declared an "Eel Reserve Area" (Anguilla anguilla). During the summer the park hosts a great diversity of dragonflies. It also highlights the presence of the striking plain tiger butterfly (Danaus chrysippus).

 

Birds are well represented and constitute, apart from one of the greatest treasures of the marsh, one of the main reasons why this was accepted in the Ramsar Agreement and declared Zone of Special Protection for Birds (ZEPA). 

There are also numerous species of birds, some important nesting varieties being the coot, common moorhen, the black-necked grebe, little grebe, purple heron and grey heron, marbled teal, black-winged stilt, whiskered tern, martinet, little bittern, squacco heron, great bittern, collared pratincole, and a long list of both wintering species and birds of passage. The marsh becomes very important at migration time, in both spring and autumn, as it is on the route for many western European birds on their way to Africa.

 

Rice cultivation

Cultivo del arroz

Rice growers used to be seriously affected by the adverse medium in which they worked (damp, mud, parasites and associated diseases) and their work was hardly ever valued and recognised. In the past it was not easy to transform a marsh into farmland, bearing in mind that they only had very rude and primitive tools and the power of animals and people.

 

High quality local varieties of rice such as bombón have been developed in the area apart from the extensive growth of the bomba variety. The Bombón variety has been recovered by the Les Tanques Agrarian Transformation Society (S.A.T.) and dedicates some 10-12 hectares to its cultivation in the Park. It is recognized and protected by the Valencia Rice Denomination of Origin.

 

Activities

¡ATTENTION! From June 1st to September 30th, access to the Muntanyeta Verda viewpoint is restricted due to the reintroduction project of the osprey (sensitive fauna).

 

MUNTANYETA VERDA VIEWPOINT

Open from Monday to Friday (not holidays) from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Access to motorized vehicles is prohibited. Open up, come in and close the door.

 

VISITS

From the Natural Park of Marjal Pego-Oliva there are free guided tours for school groups. This service is aimed at facilitating the interpretation of heritage among children.

If you are a group and would like to arrange a guided tour, contact the tourist office in advance.

Since it is a natural area, access is free and can be visited at any time of the year. There are different ways to enjoy the park: on foot, by car, riding a bike, or a horse.

 

Marjal Pego
 
Reserva anguila marjal pego

BIRDWATCHING

- Birdwatching route: Bullent

- Birdwatching route: Racons

 

BIKE RIDES

It has a circular route of 15 km, without unevenness.

Naturalismolife (Tel. 634332420) and Tracks and pedals (Tel. 646067264) provide the bicycle rental service and guided tours.

 

HUNTING

Waterfowl hunting is permitted on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, from October 12th to the second Sunday in February.
For safety and comfort, the most suitable area to visit at this time is the Muntanyeta Verda.

 

FISHING

La Marjal has been declared an "Eel Reserve Zone", which means that fishing is prohibited along the Salinar, Bullent and Racons rivers, in the Bassa de Sineu and in the Regalatxo channel.

It is only possible to fish in the boundaries of the Bullent (from the Ullal del Salinar to the mouth of the sea) and Racons/Molinell (from source to the mouth of the sea) rivers, and Regalatxo channel.

For the practise of recreational fishing you must get, at least 24 hours in advance (on working days):
a) a license for river fishing, from the autonomous government (Tel. 966409970): valid for one or three years; and
b) a temporary pass, from the Fishing Club of Pego (rental fishing place).
You must send a copy of valid ID to the Email: info@naturalismolife.com (active tourism company TA-211-A) and pay the corresponding fee.

 

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