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In December 2012, Paul da Praia da Vitoria is recognized by the RAMSAR Convention as a wetland of international importance. The attribution of this status has awakened the local and visiting population to the importance of this ecosystem and encouraged its knowledge and preservation ensuring that this humid zone, of high ecological and sociocultural value, is preserved for future generations. Visit the RAMSAR website and others of interest in our menu "Useful Links"
History and evolution
The Paul da Praia da Vitoria was once a large lagoon, formed by a large dune complex where, by rising water table and sea water entry, complex lagoons of brackish water formed that harbored great biological diversity.
Since the time of colonization, whether due to environmental degradation or the risk posed by its marshy areas, Paul was considered a public health risk. Although the city of Praia da Vitória has grown with its back toward Paul, many inhabitants remember it as a source of subsistence, favoring the capture of sardines, mullet, small eels and egg collection.
Throughout the ages Paul of Praia da Vitória was strongly threatened by the urban pressure caused by the development of the city of Praia, almost leading to its extinction. However due to its resilience capacity, characteristic of this type of ecosystem, it was able to remain, although confined to a small area.
In 2001, Paul was only a small fraction of its original reality, comprising a shallow water range, 50 meters long, whose lateral dimensions changed with the tide, maintained by the emergence of the water table and the drainage channel that made the connection to the sea, which flows into the marina of Praia da Vitória. With the importance of wetlands scientifically grounded and accepted, the Municipality of Praia da Vitória decided to intervene in the recovery of this ecosystem. In 2009, after a long process of physical recovery of this wetland (increase of the water mirror and landscape arrangement of the surroundings through processes of landfill and modeling of the land), paul became a necessary passageway for birdwatchers who visit the Azores as well as to the places that, by enjoying this space, already recognize its importance.
In December 2012, Paul da Praia da Vitoria is recognized by the RAMSAR Convention as a wetland of international importance. The attribution of this status has awakened the local and visiting population to the importance of this ecosystem and encouraged its knowledge and preservation ensuring that this humid zone, of high ecological and sociocultural value, is preserved for future generations.
The Paul da Praia da Vitória has an important role in the regulation of the local hydrological cycle, and its body of water acts as an absorbent system of the surface runoff of the surrounding watershed.
It is an ecosystem of high primary production capable of supporting wildlife, especially migratory birds. Its location allows the observation of a considerable number of birds from the European and American continents, especially the Antennians, who for various reasons are diverted from their migratory routes and use the paul to feed themselves to recover.
This wetland has species of flora characteristics of this type of ecosystems that provide places of refuge for birds, not only for resting but also for protection of possible predators. In the case of resident birds, in addition to the shelter, this vegetation allows them to build nests during their breeding season.
Paul do Belo Jardim
Paul do Belo Jardim is located in the parish of Cabo da Praia along the Riviera Beach, Terceira Island (Azores archipelago).
History and evolution
The local population recalls this wetland in its original situation, as a large lagoon with a very dense juncus population. He also recalled that when the sea came in intensely, it reached the road and prevented access to it: "When this happened, the tide was allowed to pass and the retreat of the sea to pass quickly on foot. In summer, when the trembling air was often seen on the horizon, the lake dried up, forming a thick layer of silt which, after drying, was used by the younger ones as a soccer field. When it was difficult to get a ball, it was avoided to kick it in the direction of the reeds, because besides being subject to some bites to rescue it, the ball could stick and be the end of the game, time, until there is a new ball. " The adjacent bathing area was frequented mostly by Americans since sunbathing was not a third-party custom. "The Americans tried to brown their fair skin along a broad beach, with smooth stones, shells and shells of various colors, in the great waves, and, at the end of the day, they recreated themselves with their powerful motorcycles running all over the sand and climbing the dunes. Little by little, the third-citizens approached the beaches, invaded the Riviera, but soon they had enough of it ... They wanted the concrete and the progress they were entitled to, so they decided to reduce the beach to less than half ... "Francisco José Diniz Soares.
Currently it has a small area, being flooded only when it rains intensely. This paul is one of the few in the region of Macaronesia, which still has a dune system.
This wetland despite being in a much altered situation with the original has species of flora characteristics of this type of ecosystems that allow the appearance of several birds, providing them with food and shelter.
Although Paul do Belo Jardim is currently dry, it has characteristics favorable to the appearance of several seabirds and waders (birds with high legs that prefer muddy habitats), including in these two groups not only resident birds, but also migratory birds, much appreciated by lovers of ornithological tourism.
Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia
Paul da Pedreira is located in Cabo da Praia, on the island of Terceira (archipelago of the Azores), more specifically in the industrial area of the parish, next to the fuel park..
History and evolution
This Paul originated in the exploration of a quarry, existing in the place during the 80's. It is defined as an area of low ground, submerged or periodically flooded by salt water, being the periodicity of flood linked to the tides and the precipitation. Because the water table is very close to the surface, there are coastal lagoons and wetlands, where there are communities of halophytic tendencies (plants, mainly terrestrial, tolerant to salinity).
This wetland is considered very rich in terms of biodiversity, especially in avifauna since it harbors a very great diversity of species and individuals. It meets the ideal conditions for waders, high-legged birds that prefer muddy habitats and for some migratory ducks and other rarities from North America, Africa and Europe, surprising those who go there. For this reason it is considered, by many birdwatchers, as the largest and one of the best places to practice ornithological tourism.
The fact that this wetland has species of flora characteristics of this type of ecosystems, which serve as shelter and shelter for birds also promotes its appearance in large numbers.