Guest Author - Rachel L Webb
The land area of Spain is around 505,000 square kms and out of that 1,226 square kms has been designated as National Park. There are other natural protected areas such as natural parks, wetlands and hunting reserves.
Doñana National Park straddles the provinces of Seville and Huelva in the south. It covers 50,720 hectares and contains three different ecosystems.
Marsh or wetlands, coastal dunes and Atlantic beaches.
Its climate is temperate, with a minimum of 8c in winter, which makes it a popular location for birds that are migrating to Africa and others that summer in northern Europe. The area attracts a lot of different birds due to the diverse ecosystems it offers.
Tablas de Daimiel National Park is located in the area known as “La Mancha Humeda” or wet La Mancha, in central Spain. It is an area of large plains that contain several wetland areas, over 200 different species of birds have been sighted here.
Montaña de Covadonga National Park covers an area of 17,000 hectares. It’s found in to the west of the Picos de Europa mountain range on the north Atlantic coast of Asturia. This is the natural habitat of several plant and animal species that are threatened with extinction such as the holly, capercaille and the royal eagle.
Ordesa National Park is found near the French border in the Huesca Pyrenees. It’s a natural enclave and the only herd of Pyrenees mountain goats can be found here.
Aigües Tortes and Lago de Sant Maurici National Park this is an area of over 10,000 hectares that is surrounded by mountain peaks rising to over 3,000 meters. There are high mountain lakes that were carved out by ancient glaciers.
Cañadas del Teide National Park The Teide, is Spain’s highest mountain at over 3,700 meters high and its of volcanic origin. It towers over the 13,500 hectares of the national park, with its snow-capped peaks contrasting to the subtropical climate of the island of Tenerife. It is home to 50 autochthonous species, some of which can only be found here.
Timanfaya National Park is on the island of Lanzarote, and is a volcanic landscape formed in the 18th and 19th centuries. Its plant life is sparse but it is home to the Haria lizard.
Caldera de Taburiente National Park on the island of La Palma, another of the Canary Islands this park consists of over 4,600 hectares and has a giant crater formed again by a volcano. It has a depth of around 700 meters with sides that rise up to 2,400 meters.
Garajonay National Park This time on one of the smaller Canary islands, La Gomera, the park has more than 3,90 hectares and contains an important forest area.
Maritimo-Terrestre National Park is the largest uninhabited island in the Mediterranean. It has an abundance of flora and fauna