Environment, the Montes de Toledo.
Almost in the heart of Iberia the Montes de Toledo form a surprisingly green enclave. Up to 800 meters the
holm or ilex oak dominates the surroundings, to a lesser extend the cork oak. Where the tree cover is scattered,
the resulting combined woodland-pastures are known as dehesas, where flock of sheep and goates for centuries
have been taking care of its upkeep.
The fauna in the Montes is very rich. The Iberian or pardel lynx,
unique to the Iberian Peninsula and smaller than the lynx of
nothern Europe, is considered the world's most endangered feline,
now stringently protected.
Less uncommon beasts include the wild boar (jabalí), several
kinds of deer (ciervo) and the nocturnal genet.
Spain's few hundred pairs of black vulture (buitre negro), Europe's
biggest bird of prey, are probably the world's biggest population.
Another emblematic bird is the Spanish imperial eagle. Its white
shoulders distinguish it from other imperial eagles.
The appearance of the golden eagle is most spectacular.
A rare large bird, the heaviest on the continent, is the great bustard (avutarda). With
only some 20.000 birds left and famous for its elaborate male courtship displays, it
lives on the plains within the mountains.
Several kinds of very rare amphibians and reptiles, like the black spotted salamander,
can be found in the Montes de Toledo.
The Parque Nacional de Cabañeros covers an area of 40.000ha. Paleozoïc rock-
formations of 400 million years old - the oldest in the world - break through a younger
layer. The present day relief is the result of erosion and desintegration from the
Pliocene, some 60 million years ago.
Cabañeros is considered the best and most extensive example of an Iberian
dehesa with the Sierra de Gredos