Doñana National Park

Doñana National Park

Doñana National Park is a natural reserve in Andalusia, southern Spain, in the provinces of Huelva and Seville. It covers 543 km2 (209.65 sq mi), of which 135 km2 (52.12 sq mi) are a protected area. The park is an area of marshes, shallow streams, and sand dunes in Las Marismas, the delta where the Guadalquivir River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. It was established as a nature reserve in 1969 when the World Wildlife Fund joined with the Spanish government and purchased a section of marshes to protect it. The eco-system has been under constant threat by the drainage of the marshes, the use of river water to boost agricultural production by irrigating land along the coast, and the expansion of tourist facilities. It is named after Doña Ana de Silva y Mendoza,(es) wife of the seventh Duke of Medina-Sidonia.

Doñana National Park has a biodiversity that is unique in Europe, although there are some similarities to the Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue of the Camargue river delta in France, with which Doñana Park is twinned. The park features a great variety of ecosystems and shelters wildlife including thousands of European and African migratory birds, fallow deer, Spanish red deer, wild boars, European badgers, Egyptian mongooses, and endangered species such as the Spanish Imperial Eagle and the Iberian Lynx.

The Doñana nature reserve includes both the Doñana National Park, established in 1969, and the Natural Park, created in 1989 and expanded in 1997, creating a buffer zone of protection under the management of the regional government. The two parks, national and natural, have since been classified as a single natural landscape. Due to its strategic location between the continents of Europe and Africa and its proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, Doñana’s large expanse of salt marsh is a breeding ground as well as a transit point for thousands of European and African birds (aquatic and terrestrial), and hosts many species of migratory waterfowl during the winter, typically up to 200,000 individuals. Over 300 different species of birds may be sighted there annually. Considered the largest nature reserve in Europe, several different scientific institutions have monitoring stations within its boundaries to ensure appropriate development of adjacent lands and conservation of the threatened species that inhabit it. The area was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1994; in 2006 the park recorded 376,287 visitors.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, a herd of feral dromedaries roamed the area. They may have been introduced during the Moorish Conquest of Spain in the 8th century, or they may have escaped from a herd introduced by the Marquis de Molina as beasts of burden in 1829. By the 1950s, there were only eight individuals left, and these were threatened by poachers.

Outline
Doñana National Park is a natural reserve in Andalusia, southern Spain, in the provinces of Huelva and Seville.

Recommended world heritage video

  1. Works of Antoni Gaudí

    Works of Antoni Gaudí

  2. Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

    Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

  3. Hanseatic City of Lübeck

    Hanseatic City of Lübeck

  1. Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid

    Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid

  2. Palmeral of Elche

    Palmeral of Elche

  3. Monastic Island of Reichenau

    Monastic Island of Reichenau

  1. Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork

    Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork

  2. Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin

    Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin

  3. Ilulissat Icefjord

    Ilulissat Icefjord

  1. City of Graz – Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg

    City of Graz – Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg

  2. Wachau Cultural Landscape

    Wachau Cultural Landscape

  3. Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch

    Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch

  1. Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow

    Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow

  2. La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, watchmaking town planning

    La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, watchmaking town planning

  3. Ensemble of the Ferrapontov Monastery

    Ensemble of the Ferrapontov Monastery

  1. Old and New Towns of Edinburgh

    Old and New Towns of Edinburgh

  2. Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon

    Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon

  3. Upper Middle Rhine Valley

    Upper Middle Rhine Valley

  1. Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin

    Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin

  2. Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces

    Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces

  3. Porto Venere

    Porto Venere

  1. Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura

    Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura

  2. San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries

    San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries

  3. Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes (Mons)

    Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes (Mons)

  1. Medieval City of Rhodes

    Medieval City of Rhodes

  2. Antonine Wall

    Antonine Wall

  3. Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey, and St. Martin’s Church

    Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey, and St. Martin’s Church

  1. Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto

    Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto

  2. L’viv – the Ensemble of the Historic Centre

    L’viv – the Ensemble of the Historic Centre

  3. Lednice – Valtice Cultural Landscape

    Lednice – Valtice Cultural Landscape

  1. Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe

    Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe

  2. Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct

    Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct

  3. Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay

    Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay

  1. Universidade de Coimbra

    Universidade de Coimbra

  2. Old Rauma

    Old Rauma

  3. Lugo

    Lugo

  1. Historic Areas of Istanbul

    Historic Areas of Istanbul

  2. Acropolis of Athens

    Acropolis of Athens

  3. Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona

    Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona

facebook comments
Comment
To the Top