The Laguna del Gosque is an endorheic and seasonal wetland. It is located on flat terrain, in an area of undulating relief and gentle hills, near the Sierra de los Caballos, in the south of the province of Seville.
This lagoon is a protected area with the status of Nature Reserve, given its great interest due to its large extension, its saline nature and its proximity to the Fuente de Piedra (Málaga), as it is used as an alternative habitat by water birds.
The value of this protected natural area is enhanced by the fact that it forms a network or system with other wetlands in our Autonomous Region that enables the connection between the different natural areas, contributing not only to the proliferation of species that have been restricted to certain places, and to offering refuge and ecological niches to species that do not find this type of habitat in agricultural environments, but also to the dispersion of species that need a larger surface area as their populations increase. There is the possibility of creating a network of ecological corridors based on the already existing network of livestock routes, public forests, rivers, riverbanks and groves, in addition to the proper management of these natural and cultural elements that will enhance the connection between the different areas.
The Laguna del Gosque is of great interest because of its size and saline nature, being one of the most representative endorheic lagoons of the Baetic system, and one of the finest examples of inland saline lagoons, which are one of the most original features of the non-marine waters of the Iberian Peninsula. The karstic depression where the lagoon is to be found is of great scenic, scientific and educational interest, as it has very clearly defined boundaries. The beach of whitish sand that appears along the western shore of the lagoon is another interesting feature. The contrast between the presence of a relatively naturalised environment, with a wide variety of species, and an agricultural area that has been totally transformed by man, gives this area great scenic and ecological value.
In terms of flora, it is also considered of National Importance and Special Interest, due to the presence of various endemic botanical species such as althenia orientalis, aquatic macrophytes which have a very limited distribution and are closely linked to this type of saltwater lagoons in the arid regions of the south.
The lagoon-side vegetation consists of tamarisk, reeds, rushes and marsh samphire, a plant adapted to high-salinity conditions, which occupies the northern shore. The lagoon is surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and herbaceous crops. These are interspersed with stony areas with low scrub species such as rosemary, white rockrose and gorse or high scrub species such as kermes oak and wild olive. Esparto grasses grow in the sunny areas.
The Laguna del Gosque is of great importance for birdlife, and species such as flamingos, black-footed plovers, coots and teals can be observed there.
The main interest of the Laguna del Gosque is that it serves as a wintering and resting area during migratory periods, as well as a breeding ground for numerous species of birds, acting as a complementary or alternative biotope for some of the nesting species in Doñana and the nearby Laguna de Fuente de Piedra. We can highlight the breeding of the ruddy duck, the frequent presence of the pink flamingo and the occasional horned coot and ferruginous pochard, amongst many other waterbirds. It is catalogued as a Wetland Area of National Importance.