Located in the northwest of the Madrid region, this 46,787.19 ha biosphere reserve creates a green corridor linking Madrid with the Sierra de Guadarrama, protecting ecosystems, habitats and species.

In the Cuencas altas de los ríos Manzanares, Lozoya y Guadarrama Biosphere Reserve, human activities have shaped the landscape for centuries, transforming the territory into a meeting point for culture, nature, sustainability, education, research and conservation.  The reserve is home to truly cultural ecosystems. Interested in learning about the life of biosphere reserve managers?

Listen to the podcast with José Luis Izquierdo, Oscar Canencia and Pablo Sanjuanbenito and discover their stories.

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Podcast Manzanares Spain (English)
Listen to the podcast and learn about the life at the Cuencas altas de los ríos Manzanares, Lozoya y Guadarrama Biosphere Reserve.

Of bonales and majadales

The ‘bonales’ (a type of wetland) and ‘majadales’ (grazing areas) are natural habitats that depend on the continued sustainable development of traditional livestock farming.


Cultural symbols

Within the limits of the biosphere reserve lies the castle of Manzanares El Real and the monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Shaping the natural landscape

The diversity of the landscape is linked to traditional and sustainable uses such as grazing, livestock farming and the extraction of firewood and charcoal, which play an important role in the local economy.


From 19 to 176

The populations of several species such as the otter (Lutrinae), the imperial (Aquila heliaca) and golden (Aquila chrysaetos) eagles, the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) and,  in particular the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), have increased since the creation of the biosphere reserve in 1992. In 2013, 176 pairs of vultures were recorded.