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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: Peter Bridgewater
  General Description   Somiedo comprises alpine ecosystems on the peaks (up to 2,100 meters above sea level) and high ridges of the Cantabrican range, as well as slopes covered by beech woods, green oak or Pyrenean oak, and swift flowing streams in the meadows lining the bottom of the U-shaped glacial valleys. The beech woods are home to capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), and the woodlands support many animals species, including a substantial population of brown bears, lynx, chamois and a number of species of amphibians and reptiles restricted to the north of the Iberian Peninsula. The local population (some 1,600 people in 2000) still practice special forms of transhumance, taking herds of cattle up to the higher meadows during spring and summer. There are concentrations of traditional Braña, or cattle/people homes, still maintained by the local Vaqueiros de alzada, or mountain cowboys. The Braña are thatched with broom (Cytisus spp.), brought down by the Vaqueiros from the higher slopes. The biosphere reserve includes substantial woodland and high montane habitats in the core area and buffer zone, and the Vaqueiros areas are located in the buffer zone and the transition area, which also includes a number of small and typical Cantabrican villages, of which the largest is Pola de Somiedo. Local mayors support sustainable development activities, balancing the needs of population with demands for conservation.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broadleaf forest or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Fagus forests dominated by Fagus sylvatica including Quercus petraea, Fraxinus excelsior, Betula celtiberica etc.; Genista habitats with Genista occidentalis dominated by Genista hispanica ssp. occidentalis, Ulex europaeus and with Erica vagans, Helianthemum nummularium, H. canum etc.; grasslands characterized by Holcus lanatus, Cynosurus cristatus, Trisetum flavescens, Dactylis glomerata etc.; Ericaceae habitats with Erica australis ssp. aragonensis including Halimium alyssoides and Genistella tridentata; agroecosystems; tree plantations; grazing areas; urban and industrialized areas
  Location   43°07'N; 6°14'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   29,121
  Core area(s)   10,600
  Buffer zone(s)   17,392
  Transition area(s) when given   1,129
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +400 to +2,194
  Year designated   2000
  Administrative authorities   Dirección General de Recursos Naturales y Protección. Consejería de Medio Ambiental. Principado de Asturias
  Brief description   Meteorology
Ethnography, history and local economy
Inventory of natural resources
Ecosystem characteristics and functioning
Pilot plan for "revegetation" of mines
Cantabrican brown bear (Ursus arctos)
Investigation plan for wolves
Population studies of "rebeco"
Landslide's activity in Europe in relation to climatic change
Regeneration of Betula pubescens ssp. celtiberica and Sorbus aucuparia in relation to altitude in mountanous areas
Utilization of GIS for the analysis of the susceptibility of slopes to rockfalls
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Climate, geomorphology, meteorology.
  Biodiversity   Ecosystem functioning/Ecosystem structure, forest systems, mountain and highland systems, natural resources, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   Economic studies, natural hazards, social/socio-economic aspects.
  Integrated monitoring   Geographic Information System/GIS.
  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: 11/03/2005

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