The disappearance of submerged aquatic plants that once colonised the whole lake, has been the first step of this system’s degradation, followed by the erosion of emerging aquatic vegetation islands (shelter for many birds), a mud saturated basin, fish and other species reduction. This results in the survival of little demanding communities in detriment of the species in need of better preserved environments. L’Albufera of the 60’s is very far from the ecological status that we find nowadays.
As a consequence of the habitats degradation aquatic macrophyte meadows were lost, exotic fish have replaced a great part of autochthonous fish and the most tolerant birds occupy ecologic niches that should harbour a much larger number of species.
Many birds depend on their yearly trips, in search of more benign climates, for their survival. Wetlands are essential stopping points along these migratory routes. Out of all the coastal wetlands that used to san the whole coastline of the Spanish Mediterranean less than a century ago, today only a few remain and they are highly vulnerable. The reduction and degradation of these “service stations” along the fly-ways make things very difficult for migratory birds and seriously compromise their conservation.