Few European countries can boast a natural heritage as varied as the Spanish one, which despite the massive intervention of man on the landscape is characterized by the presence of numerous areas still intact. Mountains, marshy areas, plains and steppes alternate in the vast territory of the Iberian state, characterized by a rich and diverse flora. The cool and humid climate of the Atlantic belt favors the growth of broad – leaved forest and good pastures that green the landscapes of Galicia; the broad-leaved forest, still represented by consistent strips, includes all the species common in North Atlantic Europe, in particular oak and beech. On the hills, especially the Pyrenean ones, fir trees take rootand pines. Completely different – but more peculiarly Spanish – appears the plant landscape in the Meseta, where, alongside tree species typical of the temperate zones, plant forms typical of the arid subtropical environment are found such as the shrub scrub (monte bajo), sometimes with typical associations steppes, among which alpha, esparto and artemisia predominate: in the Ebro valley there are hints of the sub-desert, but everywhere the summer aspect of the Meseta is that of a semi-arid, steppe land, with reddish soils due to alterations limestone soils, oasis of poplars or riparian vegetation along the river furrows. The Mediterranean region is dominated by scrub (Rosemary, thyme, lavender, etc.) And tree species such as the ‘ olive, the carob tree and oak from cork; on the coastal plains, lush irrigated oases, the huertas initiated by the Arabs constitute a characteristic note of Mediterranean Spain.
According to shopareview, volcanic landscapes dominate the Canary archipelago; on Mount Teide, in Tenerife, a particular alpine flora grows. The Spanish fauna is one of the most varied on the European continent. Mammals present in the country include the wolf, lynx, wild cat, chamois, fox, wild goat, deer and hare. Many types of fish live in mountain lakes and streams; among these tench, trout and barbel prevail. Numerous varieties of birds also live on the Spanish territory, including the eagle, the vulture, the eagle owl, the crane, the griffon vulture, the sparrow hawk, the flamingo, the wader and the bustard. To protect birdlife, the country has established numerous protected areas for wild birds, in accordance with the relevant European directive. The environment is threatened by numerous factors that seriously endanger its conservation. Among the most serious problems are deforestation, soil erosion, pollution of rivers (also attributable to the increased use of nitrogen fertilizers), illegal cultivation of land subject to protection, desertification in poorly managed agricultural areas. and soil salinization in irrigated areas. Tourism, an important source of wealth for the nation, has also had heavy repercussions on the environment, particularly in the most frequented coastal areas of the Mediterranean, where the problem of disposing of particularly large quantities of waste arises. The low efficiency of wastewater and water purification systems is the cause of high pollution levels, especially in the summer months. Protected areas, which cover 25.3% of the national territory, are threatened by the inefficiency of urban planning. They include national parks (the first was established as early as 1918) and some minor sites with a special conservation regime, such as i parques naturales which are placed directly under the jurisdiction of the regions. The main national parks include the Tablas de Daimiel National Park and the Aigüestortes National Park, the Sierra Nevada National Park and the Picos de Europa. Finally, some marine sites have been declared protected under the Action Plan for the Mediterranean. In 1998 in the south of the country there was a serious loss of toxic substances from a gold mine, which spilled into the Doñana National Park (an important protected wetland area, among other things declared by UNESCO heritage of humanity), in the Guadalquivir and then in the Atlantic Ocean. The environmental damage caused by polluted waters has been enormous and the survival of millions of birds and wild animals has been put at risk, with heavy economic losses for local agriculture. Another serious episode of pollution, this time marine, occurred following the sinking, in November 2002, of the oil tanker Prestige, which took place off the Galician coast: 300 km of coastline were invaded by the black tide, which caused very serious environmental and economic damage to the entire region. Two other natural sites have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO: the Garajonay National Park (1986) and the Teide National Park (2007) in the Canary archipelago. While among the sites of world cultural and natural importance recognized by UNESCO there are the peak of Monte Perdido (1997) and the island of Ibiza (1999). Spain has signed the Ramsar Convention relating to the protection of wetlands and the World Heritage Convention. Biosphere reserves have also been established in the) of UNESCO. Spain has ratified the Antarctic Environmental Protocol, the Antarctic Treaty and the Tropical Timber Treaty of 1983, as well as numerous international environmental agreements.