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      Biosphere Reserve Information



Đ Photo: Parque Nacional de Doņana
  General Description   The biosphere reserve is located in the Gulf of Cadiz and represents one of the most important protected area in Spain. The core area is made up of the Doņana National Park . The importance of Doņana is based on the ecosystem variety it hosts and the high number of species that it represents. It comprises sand dunes and groups of shifting dunes ecosystems, some of which move very rapidly. Vegetation cover has stabilized some dunes and there are lagoons and marshy areas in the dune slacks. Almost half of the reserve area comprises swamps on flat clay soil filled with muddy sediments (marismas) with features including canals with slight elevations (’vetas‘ and ’paciles‘) that have been carved by natural drainage; closed hollows ’lucios‘ which hold still water; and ’ojos‘ - points where ground water reaches the surface. The marismas flood in winter, create ideal conditions for large numbers of migrating birds. Doņana is a place of passage and wintering site for over 150 bird species and crucial for the wintering of many aquatic birds such as geese (up to 60,000) and many as 300,000 ducks. Besides the waterfowl, Doņana is home to other interesting migratory species such as the booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus), short-toed eagle (Circaetus gallicus) and black kite (Milvus migrans). The palace of Doņana remains a testimony to an exalted past as the favorite hunting reserve of Spanish kings. Some 150 people (2001) live in the biosphere reserve, mainly engaged in agriculture and tourism. More than 250,000 tourists visited the biosphere reserve in 1999. The main goal of the biosphere reserve is to help integrating territorial conservation practices and ecotourism with sustainable use in order to improve life conditions of local populations.
  Major ecosystem type   Evergreen sclerophyllous forests, woodlands or scrub; temperate coastal/marine wetlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Sand dunes with Rhamno-Juniperetum macrocarpas communities and Rhamno-Juniperetum sophora communities; sand habitats including Oleo-Quercetum suberis (plantations of cork oak, olive trees and capers), Ficario-Fraxinetum angustifoliae and Viti-Salicetum atrocinerae; heathlands with Erica scoparia, E. ciliaris; xerophytic matorral with species such as Halimium halimifolium and Cistus libanotis, and on drier ridges species such as Rosmarinus officinalis, Lavandula stoechas and Pinus pinea, cork oak (Quercus suber) and Arbutus unedo; mobile sand dune habitats with marram grass (Ammophila arenaria) and camarina (Corema album); wetlands with glasswort (Suaeda sp.), Salicornia sp., Arthrocnemum sp. etc.; freshwater lake communities characterized by Phragmitea, Littorelletea and Potametea.
  Location   37°00'N; 06°30'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   77,260
  Core area(s)   50,720
  Buffer zone(s)   26,540
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +40
  Year designated   1980
  Administrative authorities   Parque Nacional de Doņana (Zona núcleo) Parque Natural de Doņana (Zona tampón)

Last updated: 27/02/2007

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