Andalucía is a region of contrast. There are wild mountains and extensive marshes, dry semi-desert and barren karst, but also leafy woodlands laced with murmuring streams. The biodiversity is the highest of any of the Spanish regions. Andalucía is the stronghold of the endangered Iberian Lynx. Herds of wild Ibex roam the mountains and large numbers of vultures and eagles nest on remote, precipitous cliffs. In the wind-beaten dune scrub, the Mediterranean Chameleon shelters, while huge numbers of waterfowl feed in the marshes. Each corner of this, the largest of Spain’s autonomous regions, is different, but all share one characteristic – they all have jewels of natural areas that for one reason or another stand out among all others.
Andalucía is too large and diverse to do it justice in a single guidebook. This book covers the western half – roughly the provinces of Huelva, Seville, Cádiz and Málaga. Like all other Crossbill Guide, it answers two questions: what makes this area so special, and how you can see this for yourself. The book describes the flora and fauna, landscape and traditional land use of this region, plus 18 detailed routes and 28 sites covering Coto Doñana, Cádiz and the strait of Gibraltar, Alcornocales, and Sierra de Grazalema, to name a few, with concrete indications on where and how to find the birds, wildlife and flora.
Dirk Hilbers (The Netherlands, 1976), biologist, is the founder of the Crossbill Guides Foundation and travels Europe to write Crossbill Guides about the continent’s most beautiful natural areas. When not in the field, Dirk Hilbers works as a lecturer in the field of science communication and environmental ethics.