Natural Park of Cornalvo

Natural Park of Cornalvo

The Natural Park of Cornalvo is situated close to Mérida, the capital of Extremadura. It covers 10,570ha and includes two mountain ranges which run parallel to each other in an east-west direction; these are the Sierra del Moro and Sierra Bermeja. It also includes the Cornalvo reservoir and its Roman dam which was created to supply water to Mérida. The ground is littered with large granite boulders.

There are 6 sign posted walks within the park ranging from 1km to 15kms.

At the south of the park is a small reservoir whose dam was constructed by the Romans in the 1st century. The dolmen Lácara (Aljucén) is the largest dolmen in Extremadura. At the Sierra de la Calderita, in La Zarza, there is a shelter with schematic cave paintings from the Bronze Age.

The endemic species ray-finned fish (Anaecypris hispanica) is found here and is considered the most endangered primary fish in Iberian waters. Birds include the rare black stork, white stork, black-shouldered kite, red and black kite, Montagu’s harrier and great bustard. Waterfowl such as Moorhen, Mallard, Shoveler, Great crested grebe and Grey heron are all found here. Mammals include badger, otter, fox and Egyptian mongoose. Amphibians are also well represented by the common midwife toad, bosca's newt, european pond terrapin and Mediterranean pond terrapin.

The predominant trees within the Natural Park of Cornalvo are holm oak and cork oak. Other vegetation includes strawberry trees, wild pear, false olive, southern heath, lentisco and kermes oak.


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