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- Written + designed by Nick Lloyd
Written + designed by Nick Lloyd
Guide to the geography, climate, landscape, natural history and wildlife of Madrid
Despite the existence of a great city of 5 million people, the Community of Madrid still retains some remarkably unspolit and diverse habitats and landscapes. Madrid is home to mountain peaks rising above 2,000m, holm oak dehesas and low lying plains. The slopes of Guadarrama are cloaked in dense forests of Scot`s pine and Pyrenean oak. The Valle de Lozoya supports a large black (monk) vulture colony, and one of the last bastions of the Spanish Imperial Eagle in the world is found in the Park Regional del Suroeste in dehesa hills between the Gredos and Guadarrama ranges. The recent possible detection of the existence of Iberian lynx in the area between the Cofio and Alberche rivers is testament to the biodiversity of the area. However, much of this is currently under threat as the Spanish capital continues to sprawl every outwards and upwards into the Sierra, fueled by speculation, yuppie dreams of Anglo-American lifestyles in detached homes and the policies of the regional government.
The climate of the region of Madrid is typically continental Mediterranean, and is very similar to that of Castilla-La Mancha, with the added perculiarity of the presence of a large conurbation, and all its heat island affects, more pronouced here than around any other Spanish city. For example the city's lights can be seen on clear night as far as 200km away. Rainfall in the capital is an average of 436mm a year. Winters are cool across the region (average below 8ºC), and there are frequent frosts and occassional snowfalls. Summer are hot (above 24ºC in July and August). Temperatures are much lower in the Sierra de Guadarrama with abundant rain and snow. Specifically Navacerrada at 1890m receives 1326mm a year, much of it in the form of snow. Lying in the centre of the Peninsula rain fronts can come from either the Mediterrenean or the Atlantic, neither in copious amounts. (Adapted from the truly excellent "Guía del Clima de España. Vicente Aupi. Omega 2005. Buy it!)
Surface area of the Comunidad de Madrid: 8028 km2
This short film in Spanish by the Madrid governement gives a publicity-style overview of the Sierra de Guadarrama
News item from Antena 3 on possible presence of Iberian lynx in Madrid. Click on play.
See article Possible Iberian Lynx in Madrid
Overpopulation of Spanish ibex (Cabra Montes) - La Pedriza (Madrid) 9 min 58 sec by forestman
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Other information on Madrid