IberiaNature A guide to the environment, geography, climate, wildlife, nature and landscape of Spain

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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.

Jaume Morera Galícia (1854-1927): Valle de Chozas (Guadarrama)

Climate of Madrid

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!)

Jaume Morera Galícia: (1854-1927) Guadarrama

Geography of Madrid

Much of Madrid lies in southern sub-meseta and so is relatively flat with an altitude of around 650m. To the west, and close to the capital, the region rises steeply into the Sierra de Guadarrama of the Sistema Central, with Peñalara, the highest mountain in Madrid, reaching 2428m. See also Sistema Central

Image from: wikipedia.

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


Flora and wildlife of Madrid

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

More Spain nature videos

External links

  • "Situated in the heart of Spain, the province of Madrid is relatively small, yet contains a remarkable diversity of habitats typical of the Iberian Peninsula, from the high peaks of the Guadarrama mountain range to the lower agricultural areas, steppes and river valleys of the south. This, coupled with excellent road links and all the facilities of the capital makes it an ideal place for the visiting birdwatcher and tourist, and this is what makes watching birds in Madrid so appealing " Read Birds and birdwatching in Madrid by bird guide John Muddeman. (also author of below two articles)
  • " While Madrid for many is simply the city, its nightlife, bars, tapas and museums, it can probably boast claims of being the best capital for birdwatching in Europe. Admittedly you have to include some of the outskirts to accept the presence of some of the rarer species and also other wildlife, but in what other city can you take a bus to see such globally rare species as Spanish Imperial Eagle, Eurasian Black Vulture or Great Bustard! Some excellent birds can be found within the city's parks too and this is just a brief overview of some of the birds present in the area and where to see them" Wild Spain on Madrid, wildlife city
  • "The wildlife in Madrid, undoubtedly to the surprise of many, can be considered as arguably the best of any capital city in Europe!" Read Fat birder on Madrid


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Nature reserves in Madrid/Nature reserves in Madrid

Alto Jarama
Bosque de la Acebeda
Cañada Real. Centro Naturaleza
Carrizal de Villamejor
Cerros del Viso y del Ecce-Homo
Parque Regional de la Cuenca Alta del Manzanares
Cueva del Reguerillo
Parque Natural de la Cumbre, circo y Lagunas de Peñalara
Curso bajo Manzanares/Jarama
Curso Medio Guadarrama
Embalse de Picadas
Embalse de Pinilla
Emb. Puentes Viejas-El Villar-El Atazar
Embalse de Riosequillo
Embalse de San Juan
Embalse de Valmayor
Garganta de Patones
Hayedo de Montejo
Las Lagunas
Laguna de San Juan
Monte del Pardo
Parque Regional del Sureste
Peñas del Arcipreste de Hita
Pico Almenara
Pico de las Tres Provincias
Pinar de Abantos y La Herrería
Pinar de Navafría
Pinar de Peña Pintada
Puente de la Pedrera
Reserva del Regajal-Mar de Ontígola
Sierra de La Cabrera
Valle del Lozoya
Vega de Aranjuez

Environment of Madrid
Wildlife of Madrid
Madrid Environment
Madrid climate
Madrid geography
Madrid nature
Madrid wildlife
Environment of Madrid
Geography of Madrid
Climate of Madrid
Natural history of Madrid
Wildlife of Madrid
Madrid wetlands
Madrid birds
Madrid wetlands
Madrid birds
Mountains of Madrid
Relief of Madrid
Mountains of Madrid
temperatures of Madrid
Rainfall of Madrid


Guide to nature sites in Spain (i

Other information on Madrid