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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Sierra del Rincón Biosphere Reserve lies in the northeastern sector of the Community of Madrid. The relief is characterized by a mountain chain in the north, east and south and the eastern part also includes two valleys: the Hiruela Valley delimited by summits with slopes descending towards the Jarama River, and the Puebla Valley that constitutes a drainage river basin. These valleys and mountain ranges contrast with the western depression of the Prádena-Montejo Valley, where the major rural settlements are located and where the traditional agricultural activities are concentrated. The Biosphere Reserve is characterized by pine and oak forests, rocky hillsides and valleys with pastures and a large variety of species associated with a long history of agriculture and cattle raising. In addition to its natural and landscape values, this region conserves exceptional elements of traditional mountain culture that constitute the main resource for the development of tourism.

The traditional life style of the population has been based on the rational exploitation of agricultural resources and cattle raising. A major challenge is to revive the dwindling economies of the small villages to enhance natural and cultural values. In recent years diverse projects and investments from the different public administrations, affecting the conservation of historical heritage and landscapes, have improved the economy and the quality of life of the inhabitants of the region.

The Biosphere Reserve has two core areas (Dehesa Boyal de Montejo and Dehesa Boyal de La Puebla) located in peripheral mountain environments with less population pressure, protected by mountains that separate them from the more accessible sectors. In these areas some of the most remarkable and better-conserved forest formations are found, with high plant and animal diversity. The buffer zone that surrounds the core areas is composed of an extensive forest which is state owned and managed for the maintenance of compatible forest and livestock raising activities. The transition areas include the villages, meadows and fields, uncultivated areas, matorrals etc. In these areas rural agricultural activities, forestry and cattle raising are maintained.
  Major ecosystem type   Evergreen sclerophyllous forests, woodlands or scrub; Mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Reforestation areas of mixed and single species pine groves with Pinus sylvestris, P. nigra, and P. pinaster; Piornales (ciste and broom formations) and successive matorrals with Adenocarpus hispanicus, Agrostis castellana and Agrostis truncatula in the piornales and Acer monspessulanum, Achillegia millefolium and Adenocarpus complicatus complicatus in the matorrals; Oak groves with Quercus pyrenaica and Q. petraea; Pasture land exploited for cattle raising; Roquedos and rocky places with Agrostis truncatula, Alchemilla saxatilis, Allium scorzonerifolium and A.sphaerocephalon; Forests (beech, ash and holm oak); Riverine forests with willow (Salix spp.), ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and alder (Alnus glutinosa); Urban centres.
  Location   41º03’27”N; 3º28’41”W (Central point)
40º57’49” to 41º09’03”N; 3º23’35” to 3º33’46”W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   15,231
  Core area(s)   587.7
  Buffer zone(s)   7,017.4
  Transition area(s) when given   7,625.7
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +900 to +2,047
  Year designated   2005
  Administrative authorities   Comunidad de Madrid

Last updated: 27/02/2007

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