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Castilla-la Mancha
Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park
One of the most interesting and beautiful humid natural areas in the Peninsula.

Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park is considered one of the most interesting and beautiful humid natural areas in the Peninsula. The Park is located in the Upper Valley of the Guadiana River and serves as the provincial border to Ciudad Real and Albacete. It is made up of 15 interconnected lakes, characterised by waterfalls connecting the lakes along 25 km. The vertical drop between the first lake, called La Blanca, and the last, the La Cenagosa, is 120 meters.

FAUNA AND FLORA. The vegetation is typical of the Mediterranean and the Meseta. Over 800 species have been distinguished. The dominant tree on the slopes and highlands is the oak, which coexists with the junipers in the highest and coldest places. The oak is replaced by a dense thicket, composed mainly of kermes oak, hawthorn and gorse. Riparian trees appear at the bottom of the valleys and edges of ponds such as elms and white poplars, added to which are hybrids of poplar introduced by timber stocking. Outlining the banks of the lakes are very abundant reeds, rushes, bed of bulrushes and caladium mariscum.

The lakes serve as an area for resting, shelter and food for numerous species of waterfowl. The number of species and amount of individuals vary throughout the year and are at their highest in the winter months where they find shelter after migrating from areas further north. The most notable species are the European pochard duck, tufted duck, red duck, coot, the mallard and the great crested grebe. Also seen are herons and raptors like the marsh harrier.

The mammals include typical Mediterranean forest species like rabbit, partridge, fox, genet and many species of bats. Also, the buzzard, turtle and fox are common in this park. In terms of the aquatic environment, there are a variety of fish such as the boga, carp, pike and black bass.

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