Extremadura, Andalusia and La Mancha wetlands

Extremadura, Andalusia and La Mancha wetlands

The Biosphere Reserve of Monfragüe is located in the centre of Caceres province, Extremadura. It occupies around 116,000 hectares of pretected area in the confluence of the Tagus and Tietar rivers.

Monfragüe National Park is one of the most representative reserves of Mediterranean forest and scrubs, and one of the main points of natural interest in the Iberian peninsula. The ample coverage of dehesas, traditionally managed Holm Oak woodlands, which extends from the north to the southern perimeter of the park, plays host to more than 180 breeding bird species, among them some of the most threatened in the Mediterranean region: Spanish Imperial Eagle and Black Stork, and a major concentration of Eurasian Black Vulture. The diversity of flora and fauna in this area makes it one of the most ecologically important natural spaces in Spain.

Arrocampo is a dam that is a unique refuge for waterbirds and the best place to see marsh birds in Extremadura.

The Talavan Dam is one of great ornithological richness, as it attracts waterbirds, and the surrounding plains are home to steppe species like Great Bustard, Pin-tailed and Black-bellied Sandgrouse. Between November and December, more than 65,000 Common Crane use the dam as a roost to see out the warm Extremaduran winter.

Cáceres Plains, this area holds one of the best steppe-land bird populations not only in Spain but also in Western Europe. The Great Bustard is one of the main targets here, with a population of several hundreds, offering excellent chances to see their spectacular courtship in spring.

The Odiel Marismas Natural Park is situated in the southwestern part of Andalusia in the province of Huelva. It was recently declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The saltmarsh and salt pans are considered the most biologically important in the Iberian peninsula , and provide vital shelter for hundreds of birds that use this ecosystem to feed and nest. One of the most important species here is Eurasian Spoonbill, with one of the largest European colonies located in the park.

The Doñana National Park is a mosaic of ecosystems that have a unique biodiveristy. They are a paradise for waterbirds, making this the most important wetland in Europe. In the periphery of the park there is an abundant dune system that looks onto an enormous white sand, virgin beach that extends for more than 30 kilometres. A labyrinth of land and water behind the dunes is the refuge for that jewel of Spanish fauna- the Iberian Lynx.

La Mancha Wetlands are a group of seasonal lakes in Castilla La Mancha in central Spain, that are of great biological importance in a European context. This Biosphere Reserve is an almost totally flat area where the various rivers flow near the sea into “tablas”, flooded depressions which are the perfect habitat for waders, ducks, herons and raptors.

Eurasian Black Vulture

Little Bustard

Iberian Lynx