Doñana Natinal Pak
In the southeast of the province of Huelva by the mouth of the Guadalquivir River is situated one of the most noteworthy places in Europe, the Doñana National Park, declared as such in 1969 and covering an area of 50, 720 hectares, with a further 54,200 hectares surrounding the area protected as a Nature Reserve.
Doñana, also declared by UNESCO a Biosphere Reserve and Hertiage of Mankind, is particulary valuable because of its wealth of marshlands, preserves and moving sand dunes of the coastline. Every year 150 bird species pass through Doñana, the majority of which nest there. There are also 29 mammal species – the wild bore, deer, fallow deer, otter, genet, fox, etc. – 17 reptile, 9 amphibian and 8 fish species which are registered as breeding in the park.
For the birds, Doñana is a main stopping place on their migratory routes between Europe and Africa, but it is also a refuge for many species in real danger of extinction, the lynx for example, 40,000 aquatic birds and over 150,000 anatine birds usually spend the winter here, taking advantage of the mild climate. The image of bird colonies – herons, sponbills – perched in the large, gnarled cork oaks, the noted “aviaries”, is world famous, but also a true reflection of what Doñana represents.
– The Beach
Doñana’s fine sandy beaches provide a home for large groups of birds which live along the coast. Herring gulls and turns and turn are joined every winter by seafowl such as scoters. Still standing on these unspoilt beaches are watchtowers, vestiges of the past, which provide shelter to peregrine falcons and barn owls.
– The Dunes
Coastal winds have created a landscape of rare beauty with sandy dunes populated by junipers and stone pine forests which have been used as the setting for some of the scenes of Lawrence of Arabia. One of its most impressive parts, El Cerro de los Ánsares, is the tallest dune in Doñana. It attracts numerous sea birds which swallow its sand to ease their digestion.
– The Vera
A boundary limiting the cotos with the marshland and the marshland with the dunes, in this green pastureland visitors can find cork trees of great beauty which have significant ecological importance because they are used by colonies of storks, herons and spoonbills for nesting.