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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The main characteristic of the Menorca Biosphere Reserve is the diversity characteristic of nearly all Mediterranean island ecosystems. The most notable habitats are the gullies, caves, wetlands made up of ponds, lagoons and marshes, dune systems, coasts and islets Some 220 species of birds, and 1000 species of plants (60 of which are endemic) have been recorded. One of the most important landscape features of the Biosphere Reserve is the number of gullies that cross it in the direction of the south coast, which offer spectacular landscapes and have an abundant and varied flora and fauna. Also important are the nesting sites of birds of prey and aquatic birds nesting close to small permanent or seasonal water sources. Menorca has many natural land caves and underwater caves, situated in the north and south of the island. The coastal wetlands include Albufera de Es Grau ( a Natural Park and the core area of the Biosphere Reserve), as well as Addaia, Son Saura and Son Bou. The rocky coast, mainly the limestone cliff provides habitats for marine birds such as the Cory's shearwaters, cormorants, seagulls and various birds of prey. Oak woods are abundant only in the central part of the island and in a few gullies. The woods of wild olive trees, known on the island as ullastrars, appear in areas of thin soils, and is the dominant tree species on the island. As in many parts in Europe, the ‘whole island’ biosphere reserve of Menorca has become a patchy mosaic of landscapes as a result of centuries of human-induced fragmentation. Menorca has a population of 80,000 inhabitants, mainly engaged in tourism, commerce, agriculture, and jewellery and footwear industry. The biosphere reserve constitutes a rich historical and cultural legacy, expressed in numerous settlements and prehistoric monuments.The zonation was changed in 2004 and the original core area expanded to increase a marine zone.
  Major ecosystem type   Evergreen sclerophyllous forests, woodlands or scrub; coastal/marine systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Island; Scrub forest with heather (Erica multiflora), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and Cistus albidus; Coniferous pine (Pinus halepensis) forest; Mixed (pine and oak) forest; Broadleaf oak (Quercus ilex) forest; Wetland including reed (Phragmites spp.), Scirpus spp., Iris spp., Tamarix spp. etc.; Coastal dunes with Ammophila arenaria and Acrophularia scrophularia ramosissima v. minoricensis.
  Location   39°47' to 40°00'N; 03°52' to 04°24'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   72,931
  Core area(s)   5,186 (of which marine: 1,750)
  Buffer zone(s)   27,787
  Transition area(s) when given   39,958
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +358
  Year designated   1993, extension 2004
  Administrative authorities   Consorci of the Biosphere Reserve Menorca

Last updated: 06/04/2006

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