Author of the image Damian Granado Bejarano

Among many other reasons, the town of Rota is appreciated for its environmental surroundings. One of the richest places are the old fishing corrals, around the Hotel Playa de la Luz. Various especially valuable ecosystems of native fauna and flora meet there. Will you accompany us to tour them?

The Rota corrals are very old artisanal fishing buildings that are still used. These are eight artificial enclosures, surrounded by a kind of low-height walls, built from porous stones from the sea, called oyster stones, perfectly fitted together, on which seaweed and a conglomerate of mollusks, shells grow. of oysters, oysters, and other species, joining the stones together.

When the tide rises, the enclosures are flooded with water and fish; When the tide goes out, the water escapes between the stones, leaving the fish cornered inside, hence its name. Currently there are eight corrals on the coast of Rota: San Clemente, En medio or San José, Chico, Chiquillo or Chiquito, Encima, Hondo, Punta Candor and La Corraleta.

The origin of this traditional fishing art dates back to the passage of the Phoenicians through the area. It is included in the list of Places of Community Importance (SCI) of the European Ecological Network Natura 2000, and it has also been a Natural Monument of Andalusia since 2001 and is the first protected natural area in Andalusia to be recognized with the Q for Quality by the Institute for Tourism Quality of Spain (ICTE).


Birds in the pens

The biologist Damián Granado, according to his bird censuses, points out that the great availability of food provided by the intertidal zone and the rest areas when the corral and its location were discovered, means that more than 100 species of birds occupy the natural environment of the Rota corrals during the migratory passage and wintering. Of these, only the Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) reproduces in the entire area surrounding the natural monument.

According to Granado Bejarano’s research, winter is the time of year when most species concentrate in this coastal environment, as a stop on their migratory path. The most abundant group of birds are waders. Among them, sandpipers, plovers, plovers, godwits or curlews. Many of them breed in areas of the Arctic Ocean and winter on our coasts; It is most common to see them in groups feeding along the shore near the Playa de la Luz Hotel.

Another type of bird that frequents the Rota pens are larids such as seagulls and terns. Some of these are protected species, such as the Audouin’s gull or the slender-billed gull, the common tern, the little tern or the black-legged tern; The latter is the most common member and we have a wintering colony of approximately 50 individuals in the natural monument.

The usual practice of birds on the coast of Rota consists of finding areas to obtain food (small marine invertebrates, insects, fish, crustaceans, etc.), rest, in addition to interacting with other individuals of the same species, even reaching reproduce in dry areas separated from human activity.


The pine forests of Rota

The poultry biodiversity of the Rota corrals also has another essential point with charm and environmental value: the pine forests on the beach in front of the corrals and next to the Playa de la Luz Hotel. It is a delight to walk or cycle along the pedestrian paths and enjoy all the life that is breathed in the environment. Also take advantage of the shaded areas offered by the pine treetops to stop, rest, disconnect from worries and soak up the nature and landscape that surrounds this enclave.