Doñana Natural Area is considered one of the most important protected natural areas of Europe. Crucial crossroads for bird migration routes between Africa and Europe, is also the last refuge for many endangered species.
Consisting of a spectacular landscape of flat land, there are two major ecosystems, Mediterranean pine woods and scrubland growing in sandy soil and the vast salt marshes, a flood plain formed by impermeable clays with a high seasonal water regime.
Doñana is undoubtedly the most biodiverse natural area in Europe, being the group of birds the most important and numerous. Over 300 species inhabit this territory, of which nearly 130 breed regularly here. Most are aquatic birds and therefore their preferred areas in the park are the extensive mudflats. Doñana also support some 37 species of mammals, including the Iberian lynx, 21 species of reptiles, 11 amphibians and 20 species of freshwater fish. Nor can we forget the thousands of invertebrates (insects, annelids, arachnids …) many of them still uncatalogued.
Within the Doñana Natural Site, the most important and tigthly protected area is the National Park. Already in ancient times these lands were known for their natural wealth. Hunting place for the royalty and nobility, it wasn’t until the 1960’s when after a series of scientific expeditions the protection issue for Doñana is taken seriously.
The National Park was created in 1969 and subsequently expanded in 1978. Declared a World Heritage Site among numerous other awards, today is considered an irreplaceable natural treasure. More than 100,000 protected hectares on which many species depend on.
Doñana in images
The region of Doñana is located southwest of the Iberian peninsula between the mouths of the rivers Tinto and Guadalquivir. Extensive pristine beaches lapped by the Atlantic Ocean make up its southern border. Fourting municipalities in the provinces of Huelva, Seville and Cadiz contribute its territory.
In Doñana’s county there are more than 100,000 hectareas of protected area within what we call National Park and Natural Park. A peculiar settelment, the village of El Rocío, which sits right next to National Park and serves as a gateway to it is another attraction of the area.
Acknowledgements and contributions
Nature professional photographs. Javier Giménez Martín
Some of the images of the web are courtesy of Javier Giménez Martin, José Ángel Villegas González, Juan Antonio Repiso Molina, Sebastián Valladolid Martín, Juan Bernardo Torre Valle and the Iberian Lynx Breeding Centre of El Acebuche, to who Doñana Reservas thanks for their contribution.
Lugares de interés para visitar
Museo del Mundo Marino y Parque Dunar de Matalascañas
Paseos en dromedario por el Parque Dunar de Matalascañas
Monasterio de La Rábida (Palos de la Frontera)
Muelle de las Carabelas (Palos de la Frontera)
Campo de Golf Dunas de Doñana (Matalascañas)
El Castillo de Niebla