The environment of Spain
Several geographic and climatic factors combined to make Spain one of the European countries with a rich natural heritage. Its geographical situation of transition between continents and seas conditions the existence of types of ecosystems and organisms very different. The greatest wealth of flora and fauna is concentrated in the mountainous areas and wetlands. Half of Spanish territory is occupied by forest area.
However, Spain faces common to developed countries ecological risks. The most serious problems are pollution of air and water, destruction of natural ecosystems, endangered wildlife, etc. The environmental degradation threatens some species of wildlife. Spanish total 22 species are endangered.
Air pollution is mainly concentrated in areas affected by industrial emissions. The noise of traffic is a serious problem that directly affects the quality of life, especially in the cities.
Currently, both the central government and the autonomous communities take measures to conserve nature. One such measure is the creation of protected areas to conserve the most valuable landscapes. Spain has 9 national parks and many protected areas with total area of 1000 hectares. Together with the relevant natural ecosystems is particularly important conservation of various traditional agricultural landscapes.
Spain protects its wetlands (wetlands), due to the vulnerability of these ecosystems. The wet land area is estimated at about one percent of the national territory. The threat of fires and droughts are constant problems they are facing ecologists.
The most important wetlands in Europe is the old marshes of the Guadalquivir. Here it has been created the famous Donana National Park. The territory known for the landscapes of shifting dunes, pine forests, Mediterranean scrub and lagoons. The lagoons serve as an ideal for more than half a million waterfowl place. The pink flamingos have become one of the ornithological gems of this region. Finally Doñana has a great virgin beach of more than thirty kilometers. Doñana Park has been included by UNESCO in the World Heritage List.