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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Sierra Nevada is the highest mountain chain in the Iberian Peninsula with higher elevations found only in the Alps. It includes the peak ‘Mulhacen’ (3,482 meters above sea level) and fourteen other peaks (above 3000m). The relief of the Sierra is unique. The center of the chain forms an elongated and depressed arch, constituting a series of rounded slopes and gentle hillsides on southern slopes and show a clear glacial geomorphology with cirques and headwalls on the northern slopes. The peripheral zones of the Sierra, although of lower altitudes, present a radically different aspect with abrupt drops, steep slopes and deep canyons such as the ‘Alayos de Dilar’, ‘Cerro del Trevenque’ and ‘Cahorros de Monachil’. The vegetation of the reserve corresponds to cold deserts, tundra and habitats below the tundra vegetation with species such as Festuca indigesta, and Genista versicolor Fauna species such as Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica), beech marten (Martes foina), weasel (Mustela nivalis) and fox (Vulpes vulpes) are found. The avifauna is diverse and includes golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) and peregrine (F. peregrinus) that are nesting in the area. The Apollo butterfly (Parnassius apollo nevadensis) is also found here. The biosphere reserve encompasses a rich cultural heritage expressed in ancient Roman and Arab remnants and monuments, local arquitecture of Alpujarra’s style, and traditional religious and popular celebrations. Almost 1,400,000 tourists (1998) visit the reserve annually. More than 19,500 (1999) inhabitants live in the biosphere reserve engaged in cereal crops, industries, forestry and animal husbandry practices. The site has great potential for ecotourism, handicrafts and services for the improvement of the living standards of the local population.
  Major ecosystem type   Mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Cold montane deserts dominated by lichens and with Festuca clementei, Agrostis nevadensis and Erigeron frigidus; tundra with Carex fusca, Veronica repens, Leontodon microcephala, etc.; habitats below the tundra vegetation with species such as Festuca indigesta, Genista versicolor, Arenaria pungens, A. tetraquetra, Sideritis glacialis, etc.
  Location   36°55' to 37°15'N; 02°56' to 03°38'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   171,646
  Core area(s)   51,624
  Buffer zone(s)   120,022
  Transition area(s) when given   -
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +400 to +3,482
  Year designated   1986
  Administrative authorities   Consejería de Medio Ambiente de la Junta de Andalucía. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente.
  Brief description   Geology and geomorphology
Inventory of flora and fauna
Monitoring of Capra pyrenaica hispanica population, diseases
Vegetation management
Recovery of areas with threatened flora of Sierra Nevada
Conservation of floristic biodiversity in the highle slopes of Sierra Nevada
Ecological effects of public use
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Geology, geomorphology.
  Biodiversity   Biodiversity, conservation, fauna, flora, methodologies, pests/diseases, rare/endangered/threatened species, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment, vegetation studies/plant cover.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   Impact and risk studies/Environmental impact, management issues.
  Contact address   Javier Sánchez Gutiérrez
Director Conservador Parque Natural y Nacional Sierra Nevada
Carretera Sierra Nevada, km. 7
18191 Pinos Genil (Granada)
  Telephone   (34.958) 48 68 89
(34.958) 53 76 17
  Fax   (34.958) 24 83 10
(34.958) 48 60 72

Last updated: 27/02/2007

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