National Sanctuary of Mejía Lagoons
Department of Arequipa, province of Islay.
Located 146 Km (91 miles) southwest of Arequipa (2 hours and 10 minutes by car); 11 Km (7 miles) south from the Mejia village and 5 Km (3 miles) south of Mollendo.
Intangible area, conservation unit and protection of the fauna and flora, constitutes an important point of rest for numerous species of migratory birds. It is located in the coast area, and it includes the Mejía Lagoons, near the outlet of Tambo River. It is a formation of low flooding lands, separated by a narrow strip of beaches and sandbanks, of the sea.
In this habitat there are carried out investigations and big efforts to preserve and maintain it in their maximum natural state. There are many lagoons with different degrees of salinity, swamps, salt marshes, tortora reeds, hills, riverside estuaries, fields of salt grass, and sandy beaches, that constitute a complex ecosystem.
On the shores of the lakes are frogs (Bufo limensis) and lizards (Microlophus tigris), and fish sych as the lisa (Mugil cephalus) and pejerrey (Basilichthys sp.).
It is ideal for bird-watching, and 195 specieshave been registered: 75 are resident species (you can find them there all year long), 6 are ocean residing species, and 80 are migratory ones that travel.
These area include resident species as Gray Gulls (Larus modestus), Band-tailed Gulls (Larus belcheri), Kelp Gulls (Larus dominicanus), Gray-headed Gulls (Larus cirrocephalus), Sanderlings (Calidris alba), Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger), White-tufted Grebes (Rollandia rolland), Great Grebes (Podiceps major), Speckled Teals (Anas flavirostris), White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis), Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera), Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), Andean Coot (Fulica ardesiaca), Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola), Cocoi Heron (Ardea cocoi), White Herons (Egretta alba), Snowy Egret ( Egretta thula) and Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea).