Cuencas Intrabéticas basin

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  • Paraje Natural Embalse de Cordobilla
  • Paraje Natural Embalse de Malpasillo
  • Monumento Natural Peñón de Zaframagón
  • Reserva Natural Laguna de Fuente de Piedra
  • Reserva Natural Laguna de Fuente de Piedra
  • Laguna de los Jarales
  • Reserva Natural Laguna de Fuente de Piedra
  • Reserva Natural Laguna de Fuente de Piedra
  • Reserva Natural Laguna del Gosque
  • Reserva Natural Laguna de Fuente de Piedra
  • Reserva Natural Laguna de Fuente de Piedra
  • Reserva Natural Lagunas de Campillos
  • Reserva Natural Laguna de Fuente de Piedra
  • Reserva Natural Complejo Endorreico Lebrija-Las Cabezas
  • Reserva Natural Lagunas de Campillos
  • Reserva Natural Laguna de Fuente de Piedra
  • Paraje Natural Embalse de Malpasillo
  • Reserva Natural Lagunas de Campillos
  • Reserva Natural Laguna de Fuente de Piedra
  • Reserva Natural Laguna de la Ratosa
  • Reserva Natural Complejo Endorreico Lebrija-Las Cabezas
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Nestled between the Bética mountains, the Cuencas Intrabéticas Basins run horizontally between plains, meadows and orchards which are dotted by a rosary of lakes and the inevitable flow of the Genil. To the south, jagged limestone massifs rise into the sky, breaking up the monotony like a threshold that gives way to the meadows of Cadiz and Seville.

Geology and relief

In a land dominated by the horizontality of the terrain, water is the main protagonist. The alternating limestone and clays rocks allow the water to filter through the limestone and run across the waterproof clay, resulting in a large number of more or less permanent aquifers, giving this region a great ecological value and making it a secure haven for many birds. There are a large number of aquifers which have been classified as being of International Importance by the Ramsar convention.

Meanwhile, the presence of salt in many of these lakes has resulted in vegetation that has adapted to high saline levels, ensuring a very specific habitat where you can see birds as exotic as the pink flamingo, which has established the Fuente de Piedra (Malaga) lake as the main breeding colony in Spain and the Mediterranean.

Fauna

The existence of many permanent lakes, both natural and man-made, their good territorial distribution, the alternation of their salt/fresh water, a good surrounding plant area and many food sources, make this region a real paradise for birds, ideal for nesting and finding food. In addition to the exotic pink flamingo, we can also find other birds such as the malvasia and ferruginous duck which can be seen in the numerous lakes in Lucena, to the south of Cordoba; swamphen, royal duck, red-crested pochard, shoveller, crane and Eurasian wigeon shelter amongst the vegetation in the reservoirs in Cordobilla and Malpasillo, halfway between the provinces of Cordoba and Seville;and in the Lagunas de Esperalakes in the countryside between Cádiz and Seville, you can watch red-knobbed coot, malvasia and purple coot building their nests.

The different properties of the water from these lakes are instrumental in the presence of other animals, such as reptiles, fish and amphibians. In the Lagunas de Archidona lakes, with fresh mineralised water, you can find marbled newt, salamander, terrapin and water snakes. Meanwhile, the Laguna Amarga lake in Lucena has water rich in magnesium sulphate, making the ideal habitat for pejerrey, a very rare fish in this Autonomous Community.

Flora

The ecological value of the massif in this area, such as the Peñón de Zaframagón, the El Tablón mountains and the Montellano massif are true strongholds for autochthonous Mediterranean vegetation in a land that has been drastically transformed by farming.

Meanwhile, the lake complexes are an interesting green belt formed by tamarisk and willows, sedges, reeds and cattails.

Humanised landscape

The fertile plains and countryside gave rise to the towns at the foot of the mountain, as well as making them rich and giving them a real economic importance, which can be seen in the monumental architecture of its cities: Granada, Loja, Archidona and Antequera, … (Average sized cities in the heart of Andalusia). Meanwhile, amongst the continuous hustle and bustle with the Guadalquivir countryside, typical Andalusian cortijo farmhouses are in abundance in this area, which often gave refuge to gangs of bandits, as was the case of the José María “El Tempranillo”.

Bird watching is without a doubt one of the most interesting attractions in this area, and not only in the lakes. The Peñón de Zaframagón has one of the largest nesting colonies of griffon vultures in the Iberian Peninsula. This orographic complex, between the provinces of Seville and Cadiz, is criss-crossed by the Vía Verde de la Sierra, a section of railway that has been re-conditioned for tourism and is used for a large number of leisure activities that respect the surrounding environment.

Nature areas

Other Nature Enclaves: Geodésico, Gruta del Pontón, La Grieta de Benamejí, Laguna o Humedal de Padul, Llanos de los Olivares, Los Colorados, Los Filetes del Diablo, Meandro del Río Genil

Nature reserve : Complejo Endorreico de Espera, Complejo Endorreico de Lebrija-Las Cabezas, Laguna de Fuente de Piedra, Laguna de la Ratosa, Laguna del Gosque, Lagunas de Archidona, Lagunas de Campillos, Peñón de Zaframagón

Nature site : Embalse de Cordobilla, Embalse de Malpasillo

Natural Landmark: Chaparro de la Vega, Tajos de Mogarejo

Nature Reserves Near Towns: Dehesa de Santa Fe

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