Heaths

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Heaths

Recommended Seasons: SPRING

The loss of trees from the dehesa together with the reduction in the cultivation of crops and animal rearing combined with other factors such as forest fires have favoured the consolidation of a type of vegetation where Mediterranean heathlands and bushes predominate. The most common vegetation is the rock rose, broom and the olive, whereas in the higher areas there are grass lands and broom.

The bird species associated with this type of vegetation are more numerous than might be expected, dependent to a large part on the variety of plant species which make up the heaths, their complexity (height, cover) and the presence of other elements such as pastures or isolated trees.

Among the nesting species are to be found Dartford-warbler, Sardinian warbler, spectacled warbler, subalpine warbler, stonechat, rufous bush robin and linnet.

When clearings are made on the heaths to make way for pasture, northern wheatear, black-eared wheatear, Thekla lark and even Montagu's harrier can often be found. In higher areas where snow often falls in winter and where only broom and heather grow mixed with mountain pastures dunnock, ortolan bunting and bluethroat can be found nesting.

Amongst the SPA's with large areas of heathland are the 'Sierra de Gata (Gata Range) and Valle de las Pilas (Pilas Valley)', 'Hurdes', and 'Nacimiento del Río Gévora (River Gévora source)'.