Lagunas de Archidona Natural Reserve
The only lakes in Andalucia occupying a depression in the land formed by erosion, the Lagunas de Archidona are two lakes situated 900m apart which make up a protected area of 193ha. The biggest lake, Laguna Grande, is freshwater and significantly deep at 10m, with no significant seasonal fluctuations in its water level. The Laguna Chica is saltwater and shallow, with a fluctuating water level.
Vegetation consists principally of reedbeds, tamarisk and rushes. Surrounding the reserve is Mediterranean woodland, with holm and Kermes oaks, and scrubland, with gorse, rock roses and hawthorn.
The Laguna Grande's freshwater and depth mean that there are Spanish terrapins and water snakes. The lakes' differences mean that the reserve attracts a wide variety of fauna. Waterbirds include little, great crested and black-necked grebes, grey herons, mallards, red-crested pochards, wigeons, coots and little ringed and Kentish plovers. The water vole is the only mammal in the lakes.
Birds in the woods and the scrubland area surrounding the lakes include common kestrels, partridges, cuckoos, barn and little owls, red-necked night jars, jays, turtle doves and azure-winged magpies. There are numerous mammal inhabitants, such as hedgehogs, shrews, rabbits, hares, dormice, polecats, foxes, weasels and badgers.