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Dehesas de la Sierra Morena Biosphere Reserve, Spain

Dehesas de Sierra Morena is located in the northwest of the Andalusian region and hosts three Natural Parks: Aracena and Picos de Aroche in the province of Huelva, Sierra Norte de Sevilla and Hornachuelos in the province of Córdoba.

Designation date: 2002


Regional network:  EuroMAB and IberoMAB, Red de Reservas de la Biosfera Mediterráneas and Red Española de Reservas de la Biosfera

Ecosystem-based network: Mountains



    Surface : 425,070 ha

    • Core area(s): 15,420 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 362,490 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 47,160 ha

    Location: 38º12'53,8"N; 06º55'12,5"W

    Administrative Authorities

    Antonio José López
    Consejería de Agricultura, Ganadería, Pesca y Desarrollo Sostenible (Junta de Andalucía)
    Oficina del Parque Natural Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche Plaza Alta s/n
    21200 Aracena HUELVA

    Tel.: +34 95999301

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The vast space of this reserve draws a continuous area on the southern edge of the Iberian plateau, where medium-low mountains alternate with some higher mountain ranges, giving rise to an internal fragmentation that facilitates the diversity of habitats.

    In this mosaic, the most representative ecosystem is the dehesa, a hollowed out forest that occupies more than 50% of the territory, and has as distinctive species cork oaks, holm oaks, chestnuts and gall oaks.

    The magnificent banks with their gallery forests dotted with willows and ash trees; the chestnut forests and the diversity of species of the noble scrub complete its beautiful landscapes. The high biodiversity of these varied landscapes include some of the most emblematic fauna species of the Mediterranean world such as the Iberian lynx, the Spanish eagle or the Eurasian black vulture.


    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    The Dehesas de Sierra Morena Biosphere Reserve has incorporated into the World Network an agroforestry-pastoral system specific to the Iberian Peninsula, such as the dehesa. This allows several uses to be made simultaneously: livestock, grazing, pasture, agriculture, mountain climbing, browsing, hunting and agro-tourism. In this way, it gives rise to a deep-rooted way of life that perfectly expresses the philosophy of Biosphere Reserves: to work towards a positive symbiosis between natural resources and human management.

    These activities derived from the pasture have worked as the support to the economy of the biosphere reserve, where measures of revitalization of its productions are being promoted, such as those derived from the Iberian pig, cork, liquors, oils, wines and a pastry that has in the chestnuts as an essential component. Tourism is also a highlight, with an offer of quality linked mainly to hunting.


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    Last updated: April 2020