August 19, 2016

Natural Park of Sierra Calderona

The main exponent of the fauna and flora of Segorbe is represented by the north side of the unique Natural Park of Sierra Calderona.
The wooded areas are dominated by pine forest, mainly the Aleppo pine, accompanied by thickets of rockrose, rosemary, gorse and heather, with a prevalence of Mediterranean or maritime pine in decarbonated soils along with siliceous thicket species. The holm oak woods are also fairly extensive, though its presence is very fragmented and weak. In the lower strata, honeysuckle, rough bindweed, evergreen buckthorn, fan palm and wild asparagus, among other species, can be found.
The cork oak is present in certain shady and moist enclaves on red sandstone, though scattered and not reaching a mature stage at any point.
As a result of major fires in the mountain, many areas can be found with degraded vegetation which abounds in plenty of rosemary, heather and gorse. The grasslands are strongly dominated by esparto grass, thermophile and continental shrubs.
Bird life is extremely diverse, some prominent species being the goshawk, short-toed eagle or the European nuthatch in wooded areas; the blue rock thrush, the imperial owl, the peregrine falcon and Bonelli’s eagle, in rocky areas.
The mammals than inhabit this area include the wild boar, the mountain cat, the fox, the genet and the badger.
The presence of the Spanish terrapin and the ocellated lizard must be noted. The latter can grow to about 60 cm from head to tail and it is the largest species of lizard in Europe.
The lagoons in the Natural Park are included in the Valencian Community’s Catalogue of Wetlands as Natural Protected Areas. The lagoons of «Butrera», of «Rosa», «Portillo» and «Gabacho» are the result of land excavation for the extraction of clay.
The ecosystem developed in them consists of fish, mainly barbels and carp, and birds, like moorhens and common duck. The lagoons serve as a resting place for migratory birds such as herons and different types of ducks; and they are also home to some species of amphibians and reptiles.