Gran Canaria

The island of Gran Canaria is part of the Canary Archipelago, situated between the Fuerteventura and Tenerife Islands. It is of volcanic origin and reaches a maximum altitude of 1,949 metres at the Pico de las Nieves, at the centre of the island. Gran Canaria Biosphere Reserve covers approximately a third of the island on the the south-western side, including the municipalities of Aldea de San Nicolás, Artenara and Tejeda, all of the territory situated at an altitude above 300 metres in the municipalites of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Agaete and Mogán, and a small part of the sector of Vega de San Mateo that is included in the Parque Rural de El Nublo.


Declaration Date:  2005
Surface Area: 100,459 ha (of which 65,595 ha are on land) (core: 7 per cent; buffer: 33 per cent; transition: 60 percent)
Administrative Division: 7 Municipalities have their territory in the Biosphere Reserve 

Human Activities

Forestry, agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing, recreation, education and rural tourism.

Ecological Characteristics

From the geological standpoint, the Gran Canaria Biosphere Reserve is of exceptional value in understanding the process of formation and evolution of ocean islands.

This BR covers 40 per cent of the Island’s surface area and includes all the catchment areas from the mountain tops down to the beaches and marine areas, through the valleys where farming is carried out.

Gran Canaria is characterized by its great biological diversity. Its geographical isolation together with the variety of available ecological niches for the vegetation have favoured speciation processes resulting in the presence of numerous endemic species.

Thus, of the 1,363 taxa (600 in the BR)of vascular terrestrial flora identified on the island, 125are endemic to Gran Canaria (95 in the BR), 137 are endemicto the Canary Islands (101in the BR) and 46 are endemic to Macaronesia (32 in the BR).

In terms of fauna, 1,094 species of animals have been identified, of which 543 are endemic to the Canary Islands (52%). For this reason it may be considered that this area is of vital importance for biological conservation and evolution.

In addition to its natural assets, is the rich archaeological heritage of the insular Berber culture that was born and died, far from the influence of predominating Medieval Mediterranean ideology.

Furthermore, a considerable heritage of material assets (agricultural, architectural and craft structures, etc.) and intangible assets (oral tradition, working songs, etc.) is present, linked to the farming traditions of the area.

Protection Classifications

  • Natural Park (2)
  • Rural Park
  • Natural Monument (3)
  • Protected Natural Reserve
  • Special Natural Reserve
  • Protected Landscape
  • Site of Community Importance (SCI)

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                                                                                                   Last update: April 2014

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