The main characteristic of the Menorca Biosphere Reserve is the diversity characteristic of nearly all Mediterranean island ecosystems. The most notable habitats are the gullies, caves, wetlands made up of ponds, lagoons and marshes, dune systems, coasts and islets. Some 220 species of birds, and 1000 species of plants (60 of which are endemic) have been recorded.
Designation date: 1993
Ecosystem-based network: World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves
Surface : 514,485 ha
- Core area(s): 10,069 ha
- Buffer zone(s): 289,733 ha
- Transition zone(s): 214,683 ha
Location: 39º56’58’’; 4º6’39’’
This island has very flat land forms with the highest altitude at Mount Toro (358 m). Although the seasonally flowing torrents and ravines predominate, two low discharge courses of permanent water are of special ecological interest.
The climate is Mediterranean sub-humid witha mean annual temperature of some 17ºC and mean annual rainfall ranging from 450 to 650 mm. Frequent and verystrong winds have an impact, especially on the North coast.
The well-conserved rural landscape is dominated by anagro-forestry mosaic, comprising a wide mesh of drywalls, closed-in fields and country houses. Coves, cliffs and beaches are to be found along the coast, still virgin in most of the island. The flora includes endemic species such as Peonies and diverse species of thorny shrubs forming pillows (socarrell - Launaea cervicornis).
Among the fauna, mention should be made of the large colonies of sea birds gathering in S’Albufera des Grau, such as the European Shag and an abundance of birds of prey such as the Booted Eagle and the Red Kite.
The island has a sustainable tourist industry and traditional practices that ensure the preservation of natural ecosystems. Every year, almost 1,4 million tourists come to Menorca.
Other activities include industries, such as shoe and jewellery-making, sustainable agriculture and dairy farming.
Last updated: May 2020