Information landscape

Countries

Area sizeStatusRegion
Spain90,000 ha-Alto Sil (León) - Degaña (Asturias): Castilla y León and Asturias
Spain60,000 haNational ParkSomiedo: Asturias
Spain40,000 haRegional ParkRiaño: Castilla y León
Spain60,000 haNational ParkFuentes Carrionas: Castilla y León
Total area size250,000 ha

Habitat description

Cangas de Narcea, Alto Sil Degana

It covers a mountain range with an elevation up to 2,000 m and dense forest in many areas. Habitat is a mixture of deciduous forest and natural and man made grasslands which provide a very good habitat for red deer and wild boar. The mountainous landscape provides very good habitat for chamois.

Cangas de Narcea, Alto Sil Degana

Natural Park of Somiedo

The landscape is characterized by a high mountain range, up to 2.200 m, with dense forest in many areas.

Natural park of Somiedo

Riaño Regional Park

Habitat is a mixture of deciduous forest and natural and man made grasslands which provide a very good habitat for Red deer, Wild boar and for Mountain goats as well. The northern part is a national park, where hunting is not allowed. The southern part consists of a natural park (former national game reserve). Very restricted hunting is allowed, law enforcement is good.

Riano regional park

Fuentes Carrionas Natural Park (Palencia)

abitat is a mixture of deciduous forest and natural and man made grasslands which provide a very good habitat for red deer and wild boar. It has a mountain range that has an elevation up to 2,400 m.

Fuentes Carrionas natural park

Background information

The Cantabrian Mountains are located in the region of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla y León.

Cantabria is the most northern province of Spain with the Cantabrian mountains forming a climate barriere from the Basque region to Galicia. The area includes several protected areas for large herbivores. The whole mountain range covers more than 1000000 ha.

The Cantabrian Mountains should be considered as one hot spot but depending on the nature of future projects and regarding the particular local circumstances one area can be more suitable than others. Because of the high possibility of genetic transfer between the separated large herbivore populations in this paper we consider the four areas as one hotspot, although they are locally separated. The four areas are Alto Sil-Degana, the Natural Park of Somiedo, Fuentes Carrionas Natural Park and Riaño Regional Park.

Most parts of the Cantabrian Mountains have hunting areas managed by hunters themselves. Fuentes Carrionas, Somiedo and Riaño are hunting reserves managed by regional government.

  • Law enforcement works quite well although there is some illegal hunting, but it does not have any obvious impact on large herbivores species.
  • The northern part has a National Game Reserve with very restricted hunting. Law enforcement is very good. No supplementary feeding is going on.
  • The natural park serves mainly for brown bear conservation. A zonation excludes some areas to tourists use. Hunting is allowed but very restricted. Illegal hunting is rare because law enforcement is very good.
  • The natural park is a former National Game Reserve with restricted hunting exploitation.

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Presence of species in landscape

Species notes

  • Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica: extinct
  • Capra pyrenaica hispanica: extinct
  • Capra pyrenaica victoriae: rare

Capra pyrenaica victoriae has recently been reintroduced to this area after more than a century of absence.

 

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Maps

Interactive map


Hotspot Cantabrian Mountains to enlarge in Google maps

Further map information

If you have any comments on this map, please send your suggestions for improvement.

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Opportunities

Improve large herbivores management

In order to improve the management on large herbivores it would be necessary to increase knowledge:

  • on species ecology,
  • to involve local partners and hunters,
  • to compensate damages on agriculture,
  • to decide on an acceptable population density for all the species,
  • to help NGO´s dedicated to manage ungulates in bear areas with regional planning, for instance to find possibilities to increase incomes for local people, for example ecotourism.

 

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Threats

  • Human population is less than 5 people per km2, scattered in small villages. Locals live more and more on tourism compared to former times when people lived mainly on mining, traditional mountain agriculture, forestry or livestock.
  • Competition with domestic live-stock is quite intense when chamois use the lower elevations of their range, even in protected areas. In general co-existence of domestic and wild large herbivores has never been considered being a problem because wild large herbivores live mainly in forests or mountain ranges.
  • The dramatic increase in tourism with all its positive and negative effects has to be taken into consideration. It creates new job possibilities but will reorganize the traditional social structure. All tourists activities should be compatible with large herbivores.

 

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Experts and Scientific Referees

Herrero, Juan

IUCN/SSC Caprinae Specialist Group
EGA, Consultores en Vida Silvestre, Zaragoza, Spain.

Contact

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Library

Reports

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All comments on Cantabrian mountains

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