Ricefields are agriculture areas devoted to rice production, which most often involves flooding the field for 5 to 6 months per year. Different types of ricefields exist, depending on the way water is managed, on their depth, altitude and cultivation techniques. In the Mediterranean they are most often located in the major deltas (Camargue, Ebro, Nile, Guadalquivir…) and the large floodplains further upstream (e.g. Piemonte, Italy).
These habitats, although created and managed by man, are officially recognized by Ramsar as a wetland type, under the category « Artificial wetlands ». They can have a high ecological value, all the more when few pesticides/ fertilizers are used. In that case, they may host a wealth of invertebrates and amphibians usually found in freshwater marshes, as well as many waterbirds: herons, egrets, waders, terns, ducks… They are also visited by birds, rodents and boars as food area.