Ecotourism, the natural heritage and biodiversity of Andalusia.

Due to its variety of landscapes and geographic spaces, Andalusia is an ideal region for the realization of Ecotourism, and that is also due to its great natural heritage and biodiversity.

Its great extension and numerous landscapes where marine areas, wetlands, rivers, streams and mountains stand out make it an ideal region for sustainable tourist activities.

These activities are usually of a sporting type although the ecological vision of the same also intervenes since without the existence of these spaces outside the hand of the human being, they would not be possible.

For a few years sports activities have been carried out in many very healthy cases, since there is an immersion in natural spaces from which we can enjoy their natural heritage and biodiversity, very varied in our region.

The usual adventure sports such as trekking, kayak rapids, mountain bike rides, mountaineering or horseback riding, simply join those based on the simple observation of nature, widespread in other countries with higher natural reserves extension and more natural wealth.

Andalusia has numerous natural areas with some kind of protection, highlighting the two national parks of Doñana and Sierra Nevada (In process of the Sierras de las Nieves park), natural parks, or nature reserves, a place visited by many followers of ecotourism.

The location between two continents and the existence of these natural spaces, have turned the region into a bird watching area, known worldwide as Birdwatching, and where we can observe all the species of birds that live, winter or pass through our region.

The emblematic zones for this activity are the Doñana area, the Fuente de Piedra lagoon (due to the presence of Flamingos) or the Estrecho natural park, where we can see birds that cross in autumn or spring, however, Andalusia has many places like the steppe lagoons of the South of Córdoba or Seville, or the natural park of the Sierra de Cazorla, Segura and the villas.

This type of observation allows us to see such emblematic birds as the stork, the Imperial eagle (very threatened and inhabitant of Doñana or the Sierra Norte de Sevilla), the hermit ibis in the Strait or the Bearded Vulture in the Sierra de Cazorla Natural Park , Safe and the Villas.

However, birds are not only the only biodiversity in the region, since these species inhabit different areas colonized by very different vegethele species and in separate biotopes.

It is worth highlighting the meadows of Mediterranean forests with oaks and cork oaks that cross the Sierra de Aracena, Sierra Norte de Sevilla and the Sierra de Hornachuelas in Córdoba, named World Heritage by UNESCO, where not only wild species coexist but also domesticated species such as the brave bull or Iberian pig.

The Sierra de Grazalema in Cádiz and the Sierra de las Nieves in Málaga stand out for having pinsapo forests, the southernmost fir in Europe, a relic of glaciations and in danger of extinction. Not far from this region, the same province of Cádiz, affected by the humidity of the Strait of Gibraltar, in the park of the Alcornocales, highlights a series of forests called canutos, which are subtropical species similar to the Laurisilva of the Canary Islands.

However, what attracts the observer most is to be able to meet those species of animals that populate nature and be able to observe them in their own environment.

The star, of course, is the Iberian lynx, in danger of extinction, although recovering slowly thanks to conservationist efforts, and where with a little luck we could see it in Doñana or in the Sierra de Andújar.

Another species to be highlighted, although equally elusive, is the genet, possibly introduced by the Phoenicians and only visible at night. We can also highlight an inhabitant that belongs to the African fauna, the mongoose, a mongoose in proliferation precisely due to the threat of the lynx.

In the southern area, in the pine forests, we could find the common chameleon, a species only found in Europe in the pine forests of Huelva, Cádiz and Málaga, being an almost exotic reptile with an unknown origin.

The faunal richness also extends to wetlands such as marshes, lagoons, rivers and streams with piscivorous or amphibious species of the area such as the Iberian newt or the henbane.

The marine biodiversity in the region is not well known, however for some years diving activities have been offered in the area of ​​the Strait, the Mediterranean Coast of Granada and Almeria and where aquatic richness is contemplated, highlighting the phanerogamous forests. However, possibly, the emblematic species of the region, in the marine zone, with the permission of the birds, are the cetaceans.

In summer, when the migration season arrives, numerous companies that start from Tarifa or Algeciras, make inroads in the sea to visualize both on the surface and underwater, cetaceans that migrate to the Mediterranean Sea. The species that can be seen with some luck are the common whale, the pilot whale, the bottlenose dolphin and the Orca.

We must not forget that the marsh of Doñana shows every year before the end of summer, the collection of wild cattle that roam the marsh in a spectacle of nature and also remember that Andalusia is a land of horses but that will be another story.