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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Picos de Europa Biosphere Reserve covers an area of 64,660 hectares and represents some of the highest montane systems of the large Gran Cantabrica Biosphere Reserve, which is being built up step by step by MAB Spain. This area was set up as a National Park in 1918 due to its relatively undisturbed natural ecosystems with habitats such as low coastal Atlantic forest, abundant beech forest (Fagus sylvatica), oak woods with Quercus robur, Quercus patraea, Quercus pyrenaica, as well as small relict sclerophyllous and sub-sclerophyllous forests. Traditional land uses and activities such as extensive cattle raising and agriculture (maize, cereals, fruit trees) has made a harmonious landscape. Due to the rugged landscape, there are only 1,367 inhabitants in the biosphere reserve: the main issue for them is to promote tourism respectful of nature. The three zones of the biosphere reserve correspond to existing zones of the Picos de Europa National Park. The National Park authorities manage the site in cooperation with a coms韔n mixta composed of representatives of the communities of the biosphere reserve. The management plan for the national park/biosphere reserve makes provision for numerous support activities on environmental education, public awareness, scientific research and the work of volunteers, involving institutions at the local, national and international levels. Research activities are mainly carried out on rare and endangered species (Mammals: Ursus arctos, Canis lupus signatus ; birds: Tetrao urogallus) and also on karst systems.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate and Mediterranean region mountain systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Mountain areas, rocky outcrops and montane grasslands
Needle-leaf and deciduous natural forests and
Mountain areas transformed by human activities such as forestry and grazing
Marshes and peat bogs
  Location   43񳭞5拻N - 431905拻 N
43845拻W - 5񴔵0拻 W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   64,660
  Core area(s)   21,201
  Buffer zone(s)   42,003
  Transition area(s) when given   1,456
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   75 2,646
  Year designated   2003
  Administrative authorities   Comisi髇 Mixta de Gesti髇 Administration of the National Park : Parque Nacional de Los Picos de Europa. Administrative authorities from three villages (Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla y Leon) are also involved in the management of the Biosphere Reserve
  Brief description   Geology study (karst system)
Soil survey
Air quality and contaminants monitoring
Fire control and prevention

Flora/fauna inventory
Studies on rare and endangered species and conservation plans (Brown bear Ursus arctos, birds: Tetrao urogallus, Canis lupus signatus)
Studies on fish distribution and reproduction (Atlantic salmon: Salmo salar).
Forest and plants communities /evolution /diseases/pests

Local cattle breeding and conservation
Ethnology, traditional practices (transhumance)
Controlling pastoralism
Education and tourism issues

Management issues
Public, traditional use and conservation compatibility
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Air temperature, climate, geology, hydrology, meteorology, water quality/chemistry.
  Biodiversity   Birds, breeding/reproduction, community studies/communities, conservation, endemic species, fauna, fires/fire ecology, fishes, forest systems, freshwater/inland water, genetic resources, mammals, mediterranean type/scherophyll, monitoring/methodologies, population genetics/population dynamics, rare/endangered/threatened species, reptiles, species inventorying/inventory, taxonomy.
  Socio-economic   Demography, economically important species, livestock and related impacts/overgrazing.
  Integrated monitoring   Management issues, policy issues, rural systems.
  Contact address   Miguel Men閚dez de la Hoz
Director Adjunto del Parque Nacional de Picos de Europa
Arquitecto Reguera, 13
33004 Oviedo (Asturias)
  Telephone   (34.985) 25 53 76
  Fax   (34.985) 27 39 45
  Contact address   Rodrigo Su醨ez Robledano
Director del Parque Nacional de Picos de Europa
Arquitecto Reguera, 13
33004 Oviedo
  Telephone   (34.985) 25 53 76
  Fax   (34.985) 27 39 45

Last updated: 27/02/2007

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