Will the endangered Dragon Tree and Iberian lynx cat survive?
Iberian Flora and Fauna Lynx Cat
Iberian Flora and Fauna are inseparable; extensively influenced by the Peninsula’s geographical, geological ecosystems and climatic (historic) traits.
The Peninsula's Orography (average height of land)
This well suits a slogan: Spain is just One Big Mountain
. The country is split by the Sistema Central Mountains, to the north the average height above sea level is 800 mtrs, to the south it is 400 mts above sea level.
The Exuberant Flora of the Iberian Peninsular excels in European Botany
Pine trees, cork, oak and beech trees.
Flowers and Herbs
thyme, rosemary, lavender, gentians and orchids, gentians.
During the Palogene and Neogene periods, the African mass constricted much of Mediterranean Southern Europe. Land was slowly thrust upwards, causing 'wrinkling' in the earth's crust. High ridges (anticlines) and folds (synclines) ensued: the Alps were created; simultaneously this gave birth to a deep depression, which acted to contain the Mediterranean Sea.
Various Types of Spanish soil
The Iberian Peninsular rests on a base of hard crystalline rocks.
The Two Principal Hydrographic-Collecting Rivers
The río Duero in the north
The río Guadiana, in the south,
Both exit to the sea.
One third of Spanish land is dedicated to agriculture.
Flat Valley areas are known as: La Campiña.
The North and Western soils are acid, supporting Beech and Pine Forests.
La Meseta Central (has an average elevation of 2,000 ft above sea level) sprawls over the ancient core. Its vast tableland is composed of limestone, sandstone, clays and sedimentary rocks.
The famed Extremenian Spanish Steppes (home to Europe’s largest population of Great Buzzards).
Diverse avifauna of the shallow saline lakes of the Parque Nacional de Doñana and neighbouring Parque Natural or, in the Cabo de Gata-Níjar’s Natural Park, all are excellent features of the varied soil ecology systems.
Eagles, Vultures, Hawks, Storks and Flamingoes. Spain is a major bird-migration route on the way to the African continent.
Rabbits, snakes, tortoises, deer, ibex-mountain Goats and bats.
In danger of extinction: bears, lynxes and wolves.
are not all the same age.
New Fold Mountains
Examples of New Fold montains: the Himalayas, Alps, Pyrenees, Rockies and the Andes. The fast melt-water streams of the high slopes of New Fold Mountains are good sources for power-generation.
The heights of the New Fold Mountains act as a natural land barrier, i.e. the Pyrenees separate Western Europe from Spain. The 'rabbit' was isolated in Spain and played a major role towards the survival of many Iberian species, especially the Lynx.
The Phoenicians referred to Spain as Hispania, Phoenician source-word Shepham
= Island of Rabbits.
The Romans transformed that connotation, utilizing "Hispania". The Iberian Peninsular become known thereafter as: Iberia or Hispania - Ulterior or Citerior.
Old Fold Mountains
(Hercynian Mountains) eroded and exposed to climate change, rivers, and glaciers. Many faults formed, revealing irregular peaks, fragmented plateaus and hewn domes are their typical characteristics, being much less rugged than the New Fold Mountains. The Iberian Mountains and Sierra Morena, in Andalucia Spain
formed directly from the ancient granite core.
Pata Negra Iberian Freerange Pig
Parque Natural de los Alcornocales, Cadiz.
The Central Sierras
are Residual Mountains
, where the highland remained above the general level, following the erosive effects of the passage of rivers and other natural agents, which lowered the surrounding area's surface.
Mountains are effective climate barriers. Either side can experience quite different climes, the side facing the sea or ocean will experience the most rainfall. Weather conditions vary from the peaks to their lowlands. Heavy rainfall and consequent fast streams, improve the irrigation of agriculture plateaus below.
Each Ecosystem has their Habitat
Spain and Andalucia have a massive programme for protecting the National and Natural Parks.
See our Iberian Birds
Physical Map of Spain
Political Map of Spain