Las Sierras de Cazorla y Segura

Images: CMA de la Junta de Andalucía

Information adapted from UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Directory

Las Sierras de Cazorla y Segura Biosphere Reserve and National Park includes the upper reaches of the Guadalquivir River together with a vast reservoir built for hydroelectric power generation, and extensive mountains and forests. The landscape is a mosaic of peaks, valleys, rocky gorges and vertical cliffs, and displays many typical karst limestone features. The Sierras of Cazorla y Segura are part of a great mountain massif dominated by several peaks over 1,800 meters with Empanades being the highest. The forests are particularly notable. The dominant species are oak (Quercus ilex and Q.lusitanica) and pine (Pinus halepensis). Some 200 species of vertebrates are found in the reserve. The flora is extremely rich and between 2,000 vascular species has been recorded. Many are either rare or endemic to the region; such as the English name Cazorla violet (Viola cazorlensis) and the two endemic Narcisse (Narcissus spp.). Another plant of interest is the butterwort (Pinguicula vallisneriifolia). Prehistoric Rupestrian painting sites are found especially in the Cuevas de Pardis near the Segura River. There is also evidence of Iberian settlements dating from 2,000 BC. in particular those of Galera and Orce and Baños de María. More than 19,800 inhabitants (2001) live in the buffer area, mainly engaged in cattle raising, agriculture, tourism and forestry.

Major ecosystem type Evergreen sclerophyllous woodland

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