Reptiles

Posted in Fauna

Lacerta montícola24 species of reptiles are inventoried in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park and its Peripheral Protection Zone, giving an idea of the crucial role the Sierra de Guadarrama plays in this fauna group preservation. Various directories focussed on the Iberian herpetofauna conservation critical zones, show the significance the Peñalara Massif and the Upper Manzanares Basin have. To some extent, both enclaves are river headwaters zones and they have stayed long time under different regional protection modalities, so they have maintained environmental conditions conducive to the conservation of these species ecosystems.  Some taxa specimens flourishing populations, together with the existence of many endemism, uphold these territories wealth, not only ato the regional level, but also to the national and European scale. The Sierra height and topographical features result in a progression of the temperature/rainfall ratio, enabling a great variety of biotopes which are optimal for the presence of reptiles.

Among the 23 mentioned species, the Iberian rock lizard, the Iberian emerald lizard, and the Common wall lizard distribution areas are limited to mountain environments. In the National Park, the highest species wealth appears significantly at intermediate altitudes, between 1,000 and 1,650 m, being undermined by the higher or lower altitude. This proves the importance of preserving the mid-altitude sites, that is to say the Sierra de Guadarrama slopes, which are conducive to the reptiles’ distribution.

Reptiles living in the National Park have a high rate of endemicity in a relatively small area, with the presence of 3 Iberian endemism -the Mediterranean worm lizard, the Iberian cylindrical skink, the Iberian emerald lizard - and one Sierra de Guadarrama endemism, the Cyren’s rock lizard. In addition, 6 of these species are classified at the Community of Madrid level (extinction danger status for the European pond turtle, vulnerable status for the Horseshoe whip snake, the Western false smooth snake, the Iberian rock lizard and the Mediterranean turtle, and special interest status for the Iberian emerald lizard), although none is classified at the national level.

One of the above mentioned species is included in the community of Madrid region Threatened Species Catalog as Lacerta monticola cyreni, having recently been elevated to the category of species currently called Cyren’s rock lizard (Iberolacerta cyreni). In addition, this species has healthy populations in the National Park, although this site is critically important for the preservation of this endemism, since it hosts the best population among those known in the Sierra de Guadarrama.

Down below you will find a brief description of the most representative reptiles living in the National Park high mountain environments:

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La Pedriza: a particular granite batholith

La Pedriza is a particular mountain landscape, unique in the Iberian peninsula. Located in the Southern slope of the Sierra de Guadarrama, its topography is defined by a collection of amazingly shaped rocks and crags. It consists of a granite batholith, about 3.200 h wide, which formed in Paleozoic era, -in the carboniferous period- as result of the Hercynic orogeny (280 to 345 million years). La Pedriza can be considered as a sierra having its…

Birds

The Sierra de Guadarrama National Park and its Peripheral Protection Zone host 135 avian species having a regular presence sometime in the year, whether they are summer, wintering or standing species. The preservation actions on this fauna group have been noticeable particularly from the approval of the 79/409/EEC Directive on the conservation of wild birds and their habitats. Without this directive, the wide diversity of species living in the National Park and its Peripheral Protection…

Geology and Lithology

The Sierra de Guadarrama has a wide geological diversity, according to its soil composition and its origin. The range goes from 500 million years old rocks, as gneissic ones, to more recent sedimentary accumulations, as for example the limes, sands, and gravels the water courses system provides, or the Quaternary glaciers formations, that modelled the landscape on circuses, moraines and high mountain lakes. In addition, the granite batholith from La Pedriza, is very relevant, since it…

Reptiles

24 species of reptiles are inventoried in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park and its Peripheral Protection Zone, giving an idea of the crucial role the Sierra de Guadarrama plays in this fauna group preservation. Various directories focussed on the Iberian herpetofauna conservation critical zones, show the significance the Peñalara Massif and the Upper Manzanares Basin have. To some extent, both enclaves are river headwaters zones and they have stayed long time under different regional…

Estado del tiempo

×There is no translation available.Boletín meteorológico de las últimas 48 horas y predicción para hoy y mañana.

Exceptional trees

In the National Park and its Influence Zone, there are 43 trees catalogued as exceptional, according to the Castilla León and Madrid Autonomous Communities environmental regulations. Among them 10 are located inner the National Park. In presence of one of those giants, we certainly cannot remain indifferent. Impressive stemflows, thick trunks and enormous twisted branches will invite us to contemplate and respect those nature jewels.

Sistema de observación meteorológica

×There is no translation available.El parque nacional cuenta con una red de estaciones meteorológicas de alta montaña.

Mammals

In the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park and in its Peripheral Protection Zone, there are 61 species of mammals. Six species are Iberian endemism (the Iberian hare, the Lusitanian pine vole, the Iberian shrew, the Iberian mole, the Pyrenean desman and the Cabrera’s vole). The Mediterranean mountains as the Sierra de Guadarrama are critical areas for the preservation of diversity and wealth regarding fauna in general and mammals in particular. The cooling and the intensification…

Fungi

Fungi play an essential role in the ecological functioning of forests. Most of them are saprophytic species that act by breaking down the plant and animal organic matter and enriching the soil and incorporating nutrients into the food chain. Others are symbionts and are associated with the roots of certain plants form mycorrhizae, allowing these vegetables to live in certain media, such as poor or waterlogged. Therefore, the conservation of fungi is essential for the…

Sierra de Guadarrama Rivers

The Sierra de Guadarrama halves the waters of two different large river basins: The Tajo River one at the south and the Duero River one at the north. It is also the administrative borderline of the Madrid and Castilla León Autonomous Communities. The main Sierra de Guadarrama Rivers have their origin at the National Park and are documented on the Natural Systems of the National Parks Law 30/2014 as “Water Courses and Riparian forests”. There…

Fishes

There are inventoried 18 fish species in the National Park of the Sierra de Guadarrama and in its Peripheral Zone of Protection. Overall, the Sierra de Guadarrama has some biogeographic peculiarities regarding its ichthyofauna. For some species, such as the “Bermejuela” (Achondrostoma arcasii) or the “Lamprehuela” (Cobitis calderoni), the Sierra de Guadarrama constitutes their southern limit of distribution. On the other hand, for several other species, such as the Iberian barbel (Barbus comizo), it marks…

Peñalara Massif wetlands

At the Peñalara Massif there are several wetlands with a great interest and ecological value, which origin is linked to the glacial activity of the last glaciations period. Among all of them we should emphasize the Peñalara Lake (La Laguna Grande de Peñalara) due to its size and location at an extraordinary beautiful cirque. There are however other of less entity such as The Birds Lagoon (La Laguna de los Pájaros) and The Carnations Lagoon…

Invertebrates

The invertebrates are the group having a species highest number in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park. Its high diversity and adaptability to the environment climatic conditions -low temperatures, high snowfall and rainfall, strong winds and high solar radiation - shorten its biological cycle. These extreme variables have led to fundamentally different adaptive strategies in insects, from singular shapes and reduced sizes to the most diverse range of colors, such as the ornamentation of coleopteran…

Flora

The Sierra de Guadarrama presents a high floristic diversity favored by multiple factors, related mainly with their geographical location. This position has allowed the existence of transitional characteristics between the Mediterranean and the Euro-Siberian regions. In that sense, the Sierra de Guadarrama has acted as a refuge for colder environments which had a wider distribution in the past and have disappeared from the neighboring territories. In addition, the defendant altitudinal gradient of the Sierra de…

Lichens

The inside of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park forests host abundant lichens, upholstering the bark of the trees and certain shady enclaves. But it is in the rocks that form the mountains summits where we can enjoy the exceptional lichens diversity, being the lichens the dominant living organisms in these rupicolous communities. Their yellowish, greenish, gray, orange, brown or blackish petals, give color to the rocks, depending of the snow annual duration or the…

The Sierra de Guadarrama Climate

The Sierra de Guadarrama, along with the Gredos and Ayllón Sierras, makes up the Sistema Central (the Central System). This chain of mountains runs basically in West-East direction and splits the meseta in two subplateaux having different continental mediterranean climates. The orography of the Central System has a direct influence on the Iberian Peninsula climate; the Northern area has a temperate climate, with dry and warm summers (Csb according to Köppen climate classification) and the…

Amphibians

The amphibian inventory of the National Park and its Peripheral Protection Zone is made up of 15 species, of which 5 are Iberian endemism. Several studies on the areas of interest for the conservation of amphibians in the Iberian peninsula, have pointed out the Sierra de Guadarrama importance, and particularly the Peñalara Massif, in a number of species preservation. This environment has a considerable diversity of species. Only in the Peñalara Massif wetlands, included in…

Vegetation and Natural Systems

The National Park vegetation is made up of distinct plant communities from the Central System. An important part of them are Guadarrama endemism. The most representative are the Scots pine or Valsaín pine (Pinus sylvestris var. Iberian), the high mountain thickets of broom and creeping juniper, and the xerophyte pastures living on the summits of the Sierra. In the summits and slopes environment form complex mosaics where alternate wet grass, peat bogs, ponds and lakes,…

Peñalara: glaciology and glacial vestiges

The vestiges of Quaternary glacier and the current periglacial processes can be observed in Peñalara Massif. Much of the current geomorphology is explained by these processes, occurred thousands of years ago, but they have currently resulted in a great diversity of species and habitats and in a high landscape quality.

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