Wildlife in this peninsular country where environmentalism goes back 2,000 years is among the most varied and abundant in Europe—perhaps because predators and huge wetland bird flocks that have disappeared elsewhere can still find wild land.
Brown bears survive in the Cordillera Cantabrica and a few in the Pyrenees. Small populations of wolves remain in the mountains of Galicia and northwestern Castilla y Leon. Iberian or Pardel lynx, down to fewer than 200 individuals but now stringently protected, prowl southern and western woodlands.
Spanish imperial eagles, almost killed off by hunting, use of poisoned baits, and decline in rabbit populations, are still in Doñana, Monfrague, and the country’s mid-south—about 170 pairs recently. Lammergeiers soar, dropping victims’ bones from on high to crack them and get at the marrow (enacting their name, “bone-breaker”).
Millions of water-oriented birds are attracted to some of the most important and extensive protected wetlands in Europe, once (and still periodically) under threat—a legacy of ancient Roman set-asides of important wildlife areas with programs for tree-planting and forest management.
DOÑANA NATIONAL PARK as well as...
Montaña de Covadonga
Ordesa National Park
Maritimo-Terrestre National Park
More about the Reserves in spain
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