The dunes beach
The area of dunes at Conca Beach is a protected area thanks to its dune morphology but more specifically to its characteristic fauna and flora. Since 2001, the Department of the Environment of Malgrat de Mar has worked for the recovery of the vegetation, constituted mostly of psammophilous species. Their presence should be noted because they are good indicators of the environmental conservation.
The psammophilous species of this beach, characteristic of sandy coastal environments, are known to have a great ecological value because they present some special physiological adaptations to be able to resist the harsh conditions of the beach and its weather. For instance, they have developed different mechanisms to reduce their water consumption and the effects of salt and high solar radiation. On top of that, they have also long horizontal roots and/or rhizomes to ensure their reproduction (asexual) and improve stability for surviving in their inhospitable windy habitat. Actually, their roots allow and contribute to the appearance of dunes, which are so characteristic in this kind of environment. Some of these plants have also medicinal properties such as the Algerian Tea, Yellow Hornpoppy, Sea Parsnip, Sea Bindweed, or are used for cooking like the Rock Samphire or Red Dock, which was used for those purposes in the past.
Needless to say is that the flora of the area can be affected by storms (sea storms particularly), which cover it with salty water and sand but at the same time provide seeds of new species transported by the sea. Thanks to a storm in 2003, which affected a part of the protected area, two species that had been extinct for decades from our beaches and the beaches of the region are back again: the Sea Knotgrass and the Purple Spurge.
Not only is the flora remarkable in Conca Beach, but also its fauna, particularly two species that are rare: the Loggerhead Sea Turtle and the Little Ringed Plover.
The Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) is a little bird with noisy habits that belongs to a protected species. It can be seen form March onwards in open sunny places, on sandy or rocky grounds, where they lay their eggs. The colour of their chicks and the eggs themselves makes them invisible in these kind of environments. Since 2008, several eggs have been found and some birds have been born in the psammophilous vegetation.
The Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) is an endangered species that lives on the high seas and approaches the sandy beaches at night only to spawn. This species can swim long distances and they go back to their birthplace to nest. In 2011 some specimens of this species were born on Conca Beach, which could indicate that it had already been a nesting place in the past.
The protected area at the top part of Conca Beach has been delimited, signposted and fitted out with proper accesses. The actions for conservation and signposting carried out in this beach are aimed to achieve the maximum degree of naturalisation. In the short-medium term, the goal is to recover the numerous species that disappeared about 50-60 years back. And the truth is that it is working, because some of the species have spread out of the fenced area.