Doñana National Park (Spain)

The Doñana National Park is a protected natural area due to the presence of numerous species in danger of extinction. It is one of the most important parks in Europe from the standpoint of biological and environmental

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In the southernmost part of Spain, the Atlantic Ocean meets the Guadalquivir River. The sand-laden tides, the wind and the waves compete with the mud which is drawn by the river from the Sierra Morena, resulting in a changing world.  Since 1969, this biological universe composed of different environmental complexes has been known as the Doñana National Park, a refuge for migratory fowl from all over Europe.

he population in Doñana has always been scarce due to the difficulties imposed by the environment, but even so man has used this land since antiquity.
For centuries it was an excellent hunting ground for Spanish noblemen, from Alphonse X the Wise, around the year 1262, to King Alphonse XIII. But it was the daughter of the famous Princess of Eboli, Doña Ana Gómez de Mendoza, who retired here to live and from that moment on these lands came to be known as the Doña Ana Forest.

With the creation of the National Park, the hunters of yore have been replaced by visitors who are more respectful of the natural environment. More than 250,000 tourists visit Doñana each year providing income which is reinvested in the care and conservation of this protected area.

There are many different biotopes in Doñana, different areas responsible for the Park’s changing landscape. This variety of biotopes translates into an increased number species due to the fact that between one biotope and another, the species coexist. 
All of this environmental diversity owes its origins to the struggle between the Atlantic Ocean and the lands bathed by the Guadalquivir River. Three environmental complexes have emerged in Doñana as a result of this millenary conflict: the marshland, the thicket or system of fossil dunes and this, which covers the beach and the system of mobile dunes.

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