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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Muniellos Biosphere Reserve is located in northwestern Spain, in the southwestern most part of the Asturias Province. With Somiedo Biosphere Reserve they constitute the first phase of a future large biosphere reserve for the Cordillera Cantábrica region. The site has a special geomorphology, with steeped and rugged slopes covered by beech woods, green oak or Pyrenean oak (almost 5,000 hectares) covered with oligotrophic forests and betulaceae habitats on high altitudes.

It also contains a variety of animals species, (150 species are reported) including a substantial population of brown bear (Ursus arctos pyrenaicus), capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus cantabricus), wolf (Canis lupus), otter (Lutra lutra) and Cantabrian chamois(Rupicapra pyrenaica parva) and a number of species of amphibians and reptiles as the Common frog (Rana temporaria), the Cantabric viper (Vipera seoanei) and the Jeweled lizard (Lacerta lepida). Its rich biodiversity is maintained by ancient traditional human cultures and practices.
The protection of traditional ways of using natural resources in a sustainable way is one of the main objectives of the biosphere reserve. The main economic activities in the areas are cattle and sheep raising, ecotourism and different mining activities. A system of transhumance has been used in the area for centuries. 4,402 people live actually in the transition area of the biosphere reserve (2003). This substantial extension to the biosphere reserve adds on in particular including new core and buffer areas, this covering an area recently declared as a Parque Natural. It is, therefore, a very valuable increase in the overall area to be covered by the Gran Cantábrica Biosphere Reserve.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broadleaf forests or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Oligotrophic forests with Quercus petraea and Betula pubescens celtiberica including Q. x rosacea; Ericacae habitats with Erica australis aragonensis; Betulaceae habitats on high altitudes with Lusulo henriquesii-Betuletum celtibericae associations.
  Location   N 6°01’49.96” – 6°46’40.13”
W 42°58’7.62"- 43°04’4.17"
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   55,657
  Core area(s)   8,661
  Buffer zone(s)   46,178
  Transition area(s) when given   818
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   500-2,002
  Year designated   2000, extension 2003
  Administrative authorities   Dirección General de Recursos Naturales y Protección Ambiental. Consejería de Medio Ambiente. Principado de Asturias
  Brief description  
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   n.a.
  Biodiversity   n.a.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   Carlos Fernández Barquín
Director Conservador Parque Natural de Redes
C/Coronel Arana, s/n
33071 Oviedo (Asturias)
  Telephone   (34.985) 105584
  Fax   (34.985) 105538
  E-mail   pabloac@princast.es

Last updated: 27/02/2007

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