Fauna and flora
Luis Miguel Ruiz Gordon, Valencia, AlbuferaThe Iberian Peninsula boasts the greatest variety of fauna and flora in all of Europe. The majority of the vertebrates on the European continent live in its different and varied ecosystems, influenced by its diverse and opposing climates: from the cold and humid mountains in the north, to those in the south, with interior mountain ranges in between or valleys covered in Mediterranean scrub… and don’t forget the dry plains and the humid ecosystems, like the inland lagoons and coastal wetlands…
The forests of the humid mountains in the north – the Pyrenees and Cantabrian Mountains, shelter species as emblematic as the brown bear, the Iberian wolf or the bearded vulture; while in the Mediterranean forests, with some luck, we can catch a glimpse of the rare Iberian lynx and the Iberian imperial eagle. We can also witness, with the first autumn rains, the “bellow” spectacle, where male deer face their adversaries in combat in order to maintain their domain over the herd. Lastly, we cannot forget the wetlands, where a large variety of birds congregate to mate or spend the winter.
With its unique geographic location, only 14 kilometers away from North Africa, Spain is a bridge and meeting point for the migrating birds which annually cross the peninsula on their long, spring journeys north – on their way to raising their young – and on their return trip south at the summer’s end, to spend the winter in Africa.