Monfragüe National Park
FIO is held in Villarreal de San Carlos (province of Cáceres), in the heart of Monfragüe National Park, where the marquees are set up and the different activities take place: conferences, presentations, workshops... It is also the starting point for the guided tours.
This National Park is considered one of the best places in southern Europe to observe birds due to the great variety and number of species that inhabit its territory.
Let's get to know this unique enclave of the Iberian Peninsula a little better.
Monfragüe is made up of a set of rugged mountains, six kilometers wide, which extend for thirty kilometers parallel to both banks of the Tagus River, between Miravete and the western end of the Sierra de las Corchuelas.
UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
Its 18,396 hectares are included in several international protected areas, such as the 'Monfragüe y Dehesas del Entorno' Special Protection Area for Birds and the Monfragüe Biosphere Reserve, declared as such by UNESCO, both with more than 100,000 hectares of area.
This protected space extends to both sides of the Tagus and also encompasses the mouth and a valuable stretch of the Tiétar River.
With a privileged location, it constitutes the southern closure of the natural region of Campo Arañuelo. Its mountains forming an arch that forms the backbone of the union between Las Villuercas and the mountains that surround the Vega del Alagón, acting as a true ecological corridor.
Monfragüe is located in one of the best preserved areas of Mediterranean forest and scrub in the southwest of the Iberian peninsula.
The faunal importance of this space is largely due to the extraordinary combination of slopes with dense vegetation, rocky outcrops and extensive open areas, providing the fauna with a high availability of refuge and nesting places, as well as food.
The cork oak and holm oak forests are home to the most numerous and densest colony of black vultures in the world, being easy to observe on any visit. The Spanish imperial eagle, a species listed as endangered, has breeding pairs in the park and its area of influence.
It is spectacular to see the river cliffs, such as Salto del Gitano or Portilla del Tiétar, rocky outcrops where numerous species such as the black stork, griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, eagle owl and red-billed chough nest.
Other interesting species that can be observed are short-toed eagle, golden eagle, booted eagle, goshawk, sparrowhawk, red kite and blue kite. In the reservoirs, especially in winter, it is easy to see cormorants, herons, mallards and laughing gulls.
The wild cat, the genet or the mongoose are frequent. The mountain patches serve as a refuge for a large population of deer and wild boar, which can be seen even in broad daylight as they are not subject to the usual hunting pressure.
Monfragüe is also an ideal territory for stargazing. Since 2016 it has had the Starlight destination certification, which recognizes its exceptional conditions for the practice of astrotourism.
More information: Monfragüe National Park