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Valle de Laciana Biosphere Reserve, Spain


This site is situated in the Province of Castilla y León and is characterized by the cooperative venture of four valley communities to promote tourism and new economic activities respectful of nature. Mining and hydraulic energy production are the main sources of revenue for the 14,956 inhabitants living in the transition area. This biosphere reserve has great importance for the protection of brown bear (Ursus arctos pyrenaicus).

Designation date: 2003


Regional network:  EuroMAB and IberoMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 22,823 ha

    • Core area(s): 2,562 ha
    • Buffer zone(s),: 1,719 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 18,542 ha

    Location: 42º 58’16.17’’N; 6º19’40.77’’W 

    Administrative Authorities

    Fundación Laciana Reserva de la Biosfera
    Av. de la Constitución, 23. 
    24100 Villablino (León) 

    Tel.: :+34 987471866

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The Valley of Laciana is located near the headwaters of the River Sil in the Cantabrian Cordillera, to the north of the Province of Leon, bordering with Asturias.

    The area has awide range of altitudes, with the consequent wealth of landscape and valuable habitats: limestone Oak groves, rocky outcrops, mountain grasslands, Birch-groves, Yewforests, scrubland, numerous rivers and riparian forests in a good state of conservation.

    The mountain grasslands have traditionally been used by the transhumant sheep flocksfrom Extremadura and cattle for the Asturian “Nomadiccowherds” (vaqueiros de alzada).

    This has given rise to scrubland with Broom, Bilberry, and grasslands suited to the Broom Hare, endemic to the Cantabrian Cordillera, the Grey Partridge and the large wild ungulates such as the Roe Deer, the Chamois, and the Red Deer, and their main depredator, the Iberian Wolf. There are also endangered species such and the Brown Bear and the Western Capercaillie.


    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    Mention can be made of mountain livestock raising, coalmining, and small enterprises engaged in hostelling.

    There has been a great increase in rural and adventure tourism.






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    Last updated: January 2019