Las Sierras de Cazorla y Segura

This Biosphere Reserve and National Park includes the upper reaches of the Guadalquivir River together with a vast reservoir built for hydroelectric power generation, and extensive mountains and forests. The landscape is a mosaic of peaks, valleys, rocky gorges and vertical cliffs, and displays many typical karst limestone features. The Sierras of Cazorla y Segura are part of a great mountain massif dominated by several peaks over 1,800 meters with Empanades being the highest. The forests are particularly notable.


Declaration Date
: 21 April 1983
Surface Area: 214,300 ha (core: 9 per cent; buffer: 77 percent; transition: 14 per cent)
Administrative Division: twenty-three municipalities havetheir territory in the Biosphere Reserve

Human Activities

Tapping of forest resources, hunting and stock-raising. Crafts and agro-tourism.

Ecological Characteristics

This is the largest protected area in Spain. It covers a series of mountainous limestone alignments in NE – SW direction where important rivers, such as the Guadalquivir, Segura, Guadiana Menor and Guadalimar have their source.

Its continental Mediterranean climate, with mean annual rainfall between 500 mm in the low areas and 2,000 up on the peaks, has given rise to one of the largest forest masses of the Peninsula, including autochthonous forests of European Black Pine, where some trees have reached an extraordinary size and longevity, alternating with reforestation of Aleppo and Maritime pine, in addition to the StrawberryTree, Oak and Spanish Juniper.

The great wealth of flora and fauna in this Reserve is noteworthy with 26 endemic species, such as the emblematic Cazorla violet, numerousungulate populations such as the Mountain Goat, the Red Deer, Fallow Deer and the European Muflon.

There is also an exclusive species of reptile, the Valverde Wall Lizard.

Protection Classifications

  • Natural Park
  • Specially Protected Bird Area (SPBA)


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                                                                                                   Last update: April 2014

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