Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo

© UNESCO/Marinas Betanzos
Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo (Spain)

The Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo biosphere reserve is located on the Cantabrian-Atlantic coast of Galicia to the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. The territory consists mainly of two large river basins belonging to the rivers Mero and Mandeo, and includes other small coastal watersheds.

Declaration date: 2013
Surface area: 116 724.3 ha (terrestrial: 113 969.6 ha; marine: 2 754.7 ha)
Core area: 6 508.5 ha
Buffer zone: 22 118.6 ha (terrestrial: 21 324.1 ha; marine: 794.5 ha)
Transition area: 88 097.2 ha (terrestrial: 86 317.1 ha; marine 1 960.1 ha)

Ecological characteristics

© UNESCO/Marinas Betanzos
Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo (Spain)

The main natural elements of the biosphere reserve are river corridors, crucial for the conservation of habitats and species. These areas sheltered subtropical humid species (Culcita macrocarpa, Woodwardia radicans, Vandenboschia speciosa) during the cold periods of the Quaternary, and facilitated the expansion of these and other species to areas of higher altitude during thermal periods.

The river corridors also include much of the country’s representative natural forests. These are of great antiquity and size and host a significant number of unique species, many of which are threatened or endemic. These forests are popularly known in Galicia as ‘fragas’ (Quercus robur and Quercus Pyrenees).

The reserve also has more than 17 000 ha of bushes, which are home to a wide diversity of flora and fauna, including endemic, rare and endangered relict species.

The reserve also has a great variety of coastal habitats including estuaries, mudflats, creeks, shallow bays, reefs, cliffs, marshes, coastal lagoons, dunes, coastal grasslands and halophilic woods. These areas are excellent refuges for birds, invertebrates and algae species.

Socio-economic characteristics

© UNESCO/Marinas Betanzos
Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo (Spain)

This biosphere reserve is home to about 190 000 inhabitants, 98.8 per cent of which live in the transition zone.

The area boasts significant cultural diversity, linked to the use of natural resources (e.g. fertilizer and honey production) and the conservation of local livestock breeds.

The main economic activities are the service industry, tourism, agriculture, livestock and forestry.

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                                                                                    Last update: August 2013

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