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Buitre en vueloThe 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 Zone would not have been acknowledged.

The Directive and its implementation in Spain have resulted in the creation of a number of “Birds Special Protection Areas” (SPAs), which sole aim is to preserve the classified bird populations and their habitats. In the National Park and its Peripheral Protection Zone; this status protects a surface over 52.589 ha; 44.723 ha belong to the Sierra de Guadarrama SPA -ES0000010, in the province of Segovia, and 7.866 ha belong to the Alto Lozoya SPA -ES0000057, in the province of Madrid.

The first striking topic is the existence of many avian species whose habitat is linked to mountain areas. They are species reproducing in mountain zones and nesting rarely in foothill areas, whether because of their northerly origin or because they need non-degraded habitats. We can mention the Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris), the Hedge Accentor (Prunella modularis), the Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis), the Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), the Ridgway’s Hawk (Buteo ridgwayi), the European Honey Buzzard (Perins apivorus), the White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus), the Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica), the Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) or the Citril Finch (Carduelis citrinella), as the most representative ones.

The so-called “umbrella species” are another noticeable protected bird class in the National Park area. These are the species whose protection indirectly protects the many other ones living in their habitat. They use to be easily monitored, since they have a large body size and need wide land extensions as to reach viable populations. The Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus), the Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti), the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), the Red Kite (Milvus milvus), or the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) are some of the most relevant. Monitoring these species can also help to assess the conservation status of their habitat.

Overall, it can be assumed the bird species nesting in the Sierra de Guadarrama widest variety is reached between 800m and 1.500m height.

Down below, a brief outline on the most relevant National Park bird species is shown:

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