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.
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.
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.
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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.