Biosphere Reserve. Andalusian Nature Reserve



General information


Expanse : 20.163 Ha

Towns :

Prov. of Málaga : El Burgo (6,71%), Istán (6,04%), Monda (4,89%), Parauta (14,04%), Ronda (24,18%), Tolox (33,41%) y Yunquera (10,73%)

Information :

Oficina de Medio Ambiente
Alameda del Tajo
Casa del Guarda
29400 Ronda
TFNO: 952 16 92 06



The Natural Park of Sierra de las Nieves, declared by the UNESCO as Biosphere's Reserve, is located inside the natural region of the Serrania de Ronda, at the province of Malaga. This mountain space, with deep ravines and spectacular gorges like the one calle of the Caina, with more than 100 m fall. And also, due to its limestone's nature, it's also a place for sinks like the Gesm's sink, the third world's deepest, with its 1.100 m. The highest altitude is achieved at the Torrecila mountain (1.919 m), at the Sierra Blanca (White Mountain Range) of Tolox.

The most important forest of Spanish firs, a kind of tree only growing in the south of the IBerian Peninsula and the north of Marocco, occupes more than 3.000 Ha. at the Sierra de las Nieves (The Snow Mountain Range). There can be also seen one of the biggest populations of Spanish Ibex at Andalusia, which, together with the roe deer, are the two only wild species of these kind of animals living at the Park.

The Park has got 20.163 Ha. belonging to the towns of El Burgo, Istán, Monda, Parauta, Ronda, Tolox and Yunquera. Inside it there isn't any asphalted roads, only forest ways, which comes from the main road or have its origin at the towns they belong to.

Because of being a border zone between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, it has got an original and varied flora. At the highest part of the mountains, where rains are usual and where fog is also quite normal, grows the Spanish fir and the gall oak. There can be seen also yew trees and maples.

This singular kind of fir tree flowers between the months of march and april. It was discovered by the swiss Boissier at the beginning of the 19th century, and it lives only at the higuest mountains of the occidental side of the Subbetican Mountain Range as well as at the Mountain Range of Yebala, at the north of Marocco. Concerning the gall oak, this specie has been cut at an abusive way for long time, and replaced by pine trees. Altought this situation, there can still be seen some gall oaks forests at La Torrecilla and at the mount of «Los Quejigales».

At the lowest areas are remarkable the holm oak and the cork oak, specially at the towns of Istán and Monda. There can be also seen small groups of carobs and chestnut trees, this last kind of trees located at Tolox and Parauta.

The richess at hunting species made that at 1972 nearly 22.000 Ha. were declared as National Hunting Reserve. Due to this fact, some species have been preserved, like the Spanish Ibex. Others, like the fallow deer and other deers have been set there, living into a restricted area of hunting.

At the Park live by law protected species of animals, like the wild cat, the golden eagle, the owl or the otter. Concerning this last animal, there can be seen nowadays only a few number of them at the río Verde (Green River).

At Tolox, the Recovery Centre of Protected Species of Pecho Venus takes care of the animals which have suffered any kind of injure, and having been collected by particulars, forest guards, echologists or hunters. After its recovery, they are returned to its natural environment.

The cattle raising is also an important economic activity at the villages of this region. It is also remarkable the production of cork, chestnut and honey.

At the same way, leather work, saddlery or forging are also important examples of a typical craftwork industry.