Fátima shepherds Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto.jpg

Lagoon is to be improved

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

Lagoa dos Salgados, in the councils of Albufeira and Silves, considered to be one of the best spots in the Algarve for birdwatching, is to undergo redevelopment works.

Bird lovers can observe several species in the area, including flamingos, little grebes, coots and ducks, and it was the site last year where the first flamingo nest was registered in the country.

Flamingos were in danger of extinction a few years ago, but the species has been rescued thanks to the efforts of organisations dedicated to its study and preservation.

At the time of the sighting, Rui Eufrásia of the Portuguese bird protection organisation, SPEA, said: “The number of flamingos has increased in Portugal and this nest can and should make the Lagoa dos Salgados a protected area in terms of preservation of the species.”

Now a public tender launched by Águas do Algarve, the company responsible for water supply and sanitation in the region, is aimed at redeveloping the natural spot and includes works such as dredging the lagoon, creating small islands for the birds and building a 1.25m high dyke which will divide the Lagoa dos Salgados into two parts.

A spokesman from Águas do Algarve told the Algarve Resident: “The aim of the project is to protect the lagoon and its wildlife and solve the problem of water quality degradation. The existing natural barrier has always been compromised as water from the lagoon escapes into the sea and vice versa. The planned dyke will prevent the situation recurring.”