This area of the Sierra de Aracena is abundant in wildlife, birdlife and nature interest. There is plenty for all nature lovers to enjoy.
The Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Arcohe are excellent areas to see Andalucias incredibly varied birdlife. We have many birdwatching groups use the refuge and receive trip reports from clients.
What a selection we have here. Lots of raptors including black and griffon vultures, booted and short toed eagles. Falcons of all types patrol the hillsides regularly. Passerines and non passerines are in abundance. Bee-eaters and Golden Orioles are regular visitors.
Report from Ian Williams who visited the Sierra Mountain Refuge in July. With numbers definitely down this year on our local patch around the village of Lanjaron, Bee-eaters were a "must-see" for our field-trip to Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche. Kiersten was sure she had located a possible nest-site here last year, and […]Read More
This report was from Ian Williams who stayed here in July 2011. The hills of Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche have been my temporary home for a couple of days now, and the patchwork of mixed oak woodland and sunny, open meadows have brought some great birdwatching. Today we’ll take a look at […]Read More
This report has been sent in by Kiersten Rowland of Birdwatch Alpujarras who spent a few days here at the refuge enjoying the wonderful birdlife in the vicinity. I've been looking forward to this for some time. Birdwatchalpujarras are heading west to explore Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche, a hilly, forested region in […]Read More
Dehesa (pastured arable land) is a type of forest, half way between forest and grassland, resulting from the thinning of oak, cork oak (original forest, dense and virgin).
La Dehesa has its origins in the migration (migration of livestock from summer pastures, on the tops of the mountains and winter pastures to the lower sheltered valleys). It is the best example of ecological balance between nature and use of their resources by man.
The pasture is a unique ecosystem in the world and source of extraordinary biodiversity of both animal and plant species.
Wild mint, clover, water, rock, strawberry, lavender, thyme, rosemary, lavender, … inhabit the meadow, giving life and flavor to these lands of extraordinary beauty and ecological value. A local treasure is the "Centaurea tentudaica", a unique flower endemic, specially protected, which grows around the refuge.
The oaks and other trees-oak, oak, aspen, poplar, Gall … – are home to most woody species: mastic, Torviscas, asparagus, red currant …
The pasture is a haven for fauna that have originated from the original ecosystem. The oak covered hillside is rich in animal species, an "oasis" in a sea of grass, factors that attract flora and original fauna. Within the refuge area there are three main habitats: trees, grass and bushes.
The phytophagous insects that feed on vegetable matter such as herbivores, which feed on grass (the deer), or fruit bats, which feed on fruit. (The boar), …
Carnivores that feed on flesh:
The superpredators and scavengers, feeding on corpses. (Black Vulture)
Faunal groups as by their presence throughout the year:
Hibernating animals used the meadow as a winter refuge (the Crane)
Summer animals that breed in the paddock and then leave (Marsh Harrier)
Sedentary animals that stay all year at the Dehesa (Imperial Eagle)
One of the most significant and fascinating species of the meadow is the Azure, eastern in origin. Likewise, the most characteristic mammal of the paddock is the genet.
The wood pigeon is a large consumer of acorns in winter. The blue black-shouldered kite frequents the oak treees.
The hoopoe, which uses old trees to install a nest in the holes. Hares, lovers of open spaces, are located in the pasture, while the rabbit prefers scrub. The owl, woodpecker, turtle doves …, rattles, blackbirds, cuckoos, titmice, chickadees, … and many more are the rich birdlife of our fields.
Among the reptiles, we cite the Ocellated lizard, which is the largest in Europe. Among the amphibians there is the Iberian newt, and the midwife toad.