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Location Spain, Andalucía
Central coordinates 3o 10.00' West  37o 5.00' North
IBA criteria B2, C2, C6
Area 245,000 ha
Altitude 350 - 3,481m
Year of IBA assessment 2000


Site description A mountain range dominated by scrub and grassland. There are also Pinus plantations, some native Pinus forest and broadleaved deciduous forest. The main human activities are livestock-farming, game hunting and recreation.

Key Biodiversity This is an important area for breeding raptors and species characteristic of Mediterranean habitats.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos resident  1995  15-20 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Bonelli's Eagle Aquila fasciata resident  1995  7-10 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus breeding  1995  20-25 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Least Concern 
Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax resident  1995  150 breeding pairs  medium  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucura resident  1995  300 breeding pairs  poor  B2, C2  Least Concern 
Blue Rock-thrush Monticola solitarius resident  1995  150 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Reserva de la Biósfera Sierra Nevada UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 171,646 protected area contained by site 171,646  
Sierra Nevada National Game Reserve 35,430 protected area contained by site 35,430  
Sierra Nevada Nature Park 140,200 protected area contained by site 171,646  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest; Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Broadleaved evergreen woodland; Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland  26%
Shrubland Scrub  26%
Grassland Dry siliceous grassland; Steppes and dry calcareous grassland  -
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater  -
Rocky areas Inland cliffs; Scree & boulders  26%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Forestry plantations; Perennial crops, orchards and groves  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 26%
forestry -
hunting 26%
tourism/recreation -
nature conservation and research 26%

Protection status National Partial International Partial35,430 ha of IBA covered by National Game Reserve (Sierra Nevada, 35,430 ha). 171,646 ha of IBA covered by Natural Park (Sierra Nevada, 171,646 ha). 171,646 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (Sierra Nevada, 171,646 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Sierra Nevada mountain range. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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