Picos de Europa National Park


Picos de Europa National Park

Infobox_protected_area | name = Picos de Europa National Park
iucn_category = II



caption = The Picos de Europa (view from Liébana).
locator_x =
locator_y =
location = Picos de Europa,Cantabrian Mountains, Spain
nearest_city = Santander, Cantabria
lat_degrees = 43
lat_minutes = 11
lat_seconds = 51
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 4
long_minutes = 51
long_seconds = 06
long_direction = W
area = 646.60 km²
established = 1918
visitation_num =
visitation_year =
governing_body = [http://www.mma.es Ministry of Environment of Spain]

The Picos de Europa National Park is a National Park in the Picos de Europa mountain range, in northern Spain. It is shared by the provinces of Asturias, Cantabria and León.

History

The western part of today's national park, centered on the Lakes of Covadonga, was created 22 July 1918. The "Parque Nacional de la Montaña de Covadonga", as it then was called, had an area of 169.25 km². On May 30 1995 the park was extended to include its current total area of 646.60 km².

It was the first of the National Parks of Spain beside Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park in the Pyrenees.

On july 9 2003 UNESCO approved the Biosphere Reserve status for the Picos de Europa National Park.

Geography

The total area of the park is 646.60 km² and is shared by Castilla y León, Asturias, and Cantabria. The highest point of the park is in Torre de Cerredo peak, 2,648 m AMSL and the lowest point is 75 m AMSL in the Deva River, that is, a vertical drop of 2,573 m.

The geologic elements present in the park are due to glacial erosion in the limestone masiffs that form the Cantabrian Mountains.

Flora and fauna

Several types of woods can be found in the area, including beeches and Cantabrian Holm Oaks. There are many protected species, like the Capercaillie, the Lammergeier ("Gypaetus barbatus"), the Iberian lynx ("Lynx pardinus"), the Cantabrian brown bear or the Iberian Wolf ("Canis lupus signatus"). The most representative animal of the Picos de Europa is the Pyrenean chamois ("Rupicapra pyrenaica") or sarrio, or its more specific relative, the Cantabrian chamois ("Rupicapra pyrenaica parva") or rebeco, of which there are many sculptures around the park, as well as the Spanish ibex ("Capra pyrenaica").

See also

*Picos de Europa
*Cantabrian Mountains
*San Glorio

External links

* [http://reddeparquesnacionales.mma.es/parques/picos/index.htm Official web of the Spanish Ministry of Environment]
* [http://www.infopicosdeeuropa.com Information and tourism office]
* [http://www.iberianature.com/ iberianature.com - English-language web site on nature in Spain and Portugal]


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