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4 Protected areas and biosphere reserves in the sclerophyllous formations.

1. The world's protected sclerophyllous formations

1.1 Some general considerations

It general it can be said that there are protected areas of one type or another in all the Mediterraneans. Out the biome's total area of about 400,000 square miles (1.02 million [km.sup.2]), the protected areas account for 32 million acres (13 million hectares), i.e. about 1.3% of the total. The prolonged and uninterrupted interaction between human beings and the environment that has taken place in the Mediterranean Basin, mean that some of the oldest protected areas are in this area. Protected and sacred forests are known to have existed in Roman times, and since the Middle Ages there have been hunting reserves and forests. Awareness of the lack of protected areas has been most recent in South Africa and has led to the creation of new reserves in the Cape region where all the fynbos vegetation is considered to be endangered.

Yet as elsewhere on the planet, in the Mediterranean area strictly protected areas (with the aim of total protection from all human influence) coexist with areas that are loosely protected, and even other areas whose management involves the protection of some sections and the productive use, in an ecologically rational manner, of others. Strictly protected areas include all the classical national parks, natural parks, and reserves, while the second group consists of the biosphere reserves as defined by UNESCO (volume 1, "The protection of species against the danger of extinction"). The preserved areas of the Mediterranean Basin are especially dedicated to the maintenance of systems that are little or highly modified artficially, and which are often close to human dwellings and in harmonious interaction with humans for centuries. The situation is different in the South African and Australian mediterraneans, where the vulnerable native vegetation has been seriously damaged by human activity, especially over the last two centuries, and projects to restore these habitats seek first of all to reduce human interference.

1.2 Protected parks and areas

Protected areas in the Mediterranean Basin

Classical literary sources such as the Old Testament, the writings of Theophrastus (372-287 b.c.), and the works of Pliny the Elder (a.d. 23-79) provide much information about the ancient Mediterranean landscape, the distribution of forests, and their exploitation. These testimonies are thus contemporary to the ancient silviculture practices that regulated the plantations of trees and the protection of forests and matorrals. Over a period of centuries, sacred areas, forests, and hunting reserves were established and maintained. Many of the areas that are now national parks or protected areas have their origins in such areas, such as Donana, Ichkeul, and Mount Olympus.

In all the Mediterranean areas there have been regional initiatives to establish networks of protected areas. Some of the most complex programs have been drawn up precisely for the Mediterranean Basin, where a total of 26 countries have to reach agreement for there to be consensus on the priority actions for Mediterranean cooperation. The current initiatives follow the directives of the European Union, the World Bank, UNESCO's MAB Program, and the United Nations' Environment Program (UNEP), which is reflected in their support for the Barcelona Convention (1975), an agreement between the countries of the Mediterranean coastline. The protected areas now represent 12.8% of the basin, i.e. about 18.3 million acres (7.4 million hectares) out of a total of 223,880 square miles (580,000 [km.sup.2]) of sclerophyllous Mediterranean biome. The largest protected area in the region is the Corsican Regional Natural Park, which covers 741,000 acres (300,000 ha), followed by the natural parks of the sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas, covering 530,000 acres (214,300 ha) in Andalusia, and then the Velebit Mountains covering 494,000 acres (200,000 ha) in Croatia.

Protected areas in the South African-Mediterranean

The southern tip of Africa is known for its very high floristic diversity and for the large number of endemic species that grow there, especially in the southwestern tip of the Cape Province, whose unique flora makes it one of the world's six floral kingdoms, and has a special sclerophyllous vegetation (fynbos) that covers 26,600 square miles (69,000 [km.sup.2]), 5.72% of the area of the Republic of South Africa (see "The Cape Kingdom").

Conservation has a long history in South Africa. The first signs of concern arose bacause of the the regression of the Afro-montane forests in the Cape Province in the first half of the 19th century. The first protective measures were taken in 1856.

In the early 1980s a resolution was adopted that recognized the importance of the coastal fynbos and a committee was established to investigate different proposals to create nature conservation areas. The resulting report presented a summary of the state of the area and the strategies necessary to fulfil the conservation objectives. The report also proposed the creation of a fynbos project that prepared, by means of a set of working groups, detailed reports on particular sites, to preserve the most valuable areas on the basis of complete information on the sites in question. Thus, the priority was to carry out conservation actions where they were most necessary, and conservation mechanisms were installed in all these sites. Even so, images taken in 1981 by the Landsat satellite revealed that 34% of the natural fynbos vegetation had been destroyed by diverse human activities, such as intensive agriculture and urbanization. The greatest losses were among the coastal fynbos, 47% of which was lost.

Almost 15% of the area of fynbos in South Africa enjoys some form of protection. Both in number and in area, most of the protected area

is in the mountains. Only 10% of these areas, representing only 5% of the total area of the biome, consists of coastal fynbos and other types of lowland vegetation. The fynbos is protected on the basis of a series of zones classified into different categories: state-owned conservation areas, semi-state conservation areas, areas protected by private bodies, and South African Defence Force areas. Even so, there are many areas without protection. On the other hand, the South Africa's difficult relations with the United Nations until their democratic transition impeded the creation of biosphere reserves in that country; finally in 1998 Kogelberg was cataloged as a Biosphere Reserve. Perhaps the largest protected areas within the Cape Region center of endemism are the basins of the Hawequas (447 square miles [1,159 [km.sup.2]) and the Cederberg (488 square miles [1,264 [km.sup.2]). The rest of the protected area consists of small but well-managed sites, that are good representatives of the fynbos. Although there are many reserves of fynbos in the lowlands, most are so small that their long-term viability is doubtful.

Most of the approximately 580 nature reserves in South Africa are concentrated in the relatively narrow strip between the coastline and the inland plateau. Almost all the reserves have been created in the last 30 years, and only five cover more than 247,000 acres (100,000 ha). And 64% of the reserves are isolated from each other. Yet more than 50% of the land surrounding these reserves is so highly artificial that it is almost impossible for the flora and fauna to emigrate to neighboring reserves. Only 88 of these 580 South African nature reserves have lists, mostly incomplete, of the species that live there and only 28 have reasonably thorough lists. There is a clear lack of information, and especially in the lists for the small reserves in the Cape. The protected areas of the Cape Mediterranean region include, on the one hand, the Bontebok National Park with coastal renosterveld, the basin of the Groot Swartberg, the Tsitsikamma Coast National Park, and the De Hoop Natural Reserve, which represent, if only partially, the Cape fynbos; and, on the other hand, the Storms River National Reserve (within the Tsitsikamma National Park), the Goendal Natural Area, the basin of the Groot Winterhoek, and the basin of the Hawequas, which represent areas with "false" karoo (areas formerly covered with grassland but now transformed through grazing pressures to a karroid shrubland). Other National Parks in the Mediterranean climatic region are the Wilderness National Park (the lake area) and the West Coast National Park.

The Protected areas of the Australian Mediterraneans

The first national park in Australia was created as a royal park south of Sydney in 1879, and the early 20th century saw the progressive development of the system of national parks and reserves. In 1990 there were about 100 million acres (40.78 million hectares) of protected ground, about 5.3% of Australia's surface area. The Australian Federal Government carried out a study of the continent's biological resources, with the intention of documenting the entire flora and fauna, including the mediterraneans in south and southwestern Australia that cover areas of 36,285 mi2 (94,000 [km.sup.2]) and 60,600 mi2 (157, 000 [km.sup.2]) respectively.

The protection of the Australian mediterranean biome, which is located in the states of South Australia and Western Australia, depends on the state legislation. The legislation on protected areas in Western Australia was enacted with the 1933 Land Act that allowed the Governor to set aside land for public use. The National Parks and Nature Conservation Authority, in accordance with the 1984 Conservation and Land Management Act, develops strategies to stimulate public respect for nature and the protection of the environment. In South Australia, the body responsible is the National Parks and Wildlife Service, within the Department of Environment of Planning. In parallel, the Woods and Forests Department within the Ministry of Forests is responsible for the administration of the forest reserves.

The Mediterranean areas are represented in almost 200 of the protected areas in Australia. They make up a total of 10 million acres (4 million ha), approximately 10% of the total protected area in Australia. Two thirds of the protected area within the Mediterranean areas in Australia, more than 6.2 million acres (2.5 million ha), are in western Australia. These include about 40 national parks that alone account for more than half of the total area and a hundred or so nature reserves, that cover approximately one million ha. On the other hand, the roughly 70 protected zones in South Australia cover more than 15 million acres (6 million ha), a quarter of which is in eight national parks, and a little more than half in 43 conservation parks.

In Western Australia, most of the national parks were created in the early the 1970s, except for the oldest, Yanchep, created in 1905 and covering 6,915 acres (2,799 ha), the Stirling Range, declared a national park in 1913 and covering 285,700 acres (115,661 ha), Neerbup, created in 1945 and covering 2,675 acres (1,082 ha), and Cap Le Grand, created in 1948 and covering 77,530 acres (31,390 ha). Within the sclerophyllous area, the largest protected areas are the Cape Arid National Park, covering 690,155 acres (279,415 ha), and the Jilbadji Nature Reserve, covering 515,900 acres (208,866 ha). The average area of the reserves is 4,940 acres (2,000 ha) the national parks vary in size from 2,470 acres (1,000 ha) to 98,800 acres (40,000 ha).

In the South Australia mediterranean, the oldest national park is the Flinders Chase, which was created in 1919, while the oldest conservation park is Fairview created in 1960. The largest protected areas in the state (outside the Mediterranean area) are the Nullarbor National Park, covering 572,800 acres (231,900 ha), and the Ngarkat conservation park, covering 513,615 acres (207,941 ha).

The protected areas of the Chilean mediterranean

The first natural park in Chile was created in 1926, in order to protect its natural resources and beauty. Tourism was allowed, as long as it did not threaten the model of life of the local people. Between 1935 and 1945, 12 more parks were created with the aim of protecting the endemic flora and fauna, but the management plans were not drawn up until the early 1970s detailing the infrastructure and the research and educational projects required by the protected areas. By 1990 there were 30 national parks, 36 nature reserves, and 10 natural monuments, covering a total of 33.6 million acres (13.6 million ha), 18% of the country. Now, CONAF (National Forestry Corporation) is responsible for the administration the network of protected areas by means of the National System of State-Protected Wild Areas (SNASPE). The different definitions used for the different categories of protection are: national parks, national reserves, and natural monuments. CONAF is developing a management system for each of the SNASPE protected areas.

The Chilean mediterranean covers an area of 8,878 square miles (23,000 [km.sup.2]), about 3% of the country. Within this, the 1990 United Nations List of National Parks and Protected Areas recognises eight areas which cover a total of 363,110 acres (147,008 ha), i.e. 1.37% of the total protected area in the Neotropical kingdom. This corresponds to 6% of the Chilean mediterranean, or 0.2% of the country's total area. Among the protected areas there are two national parks with a total area of 44,358 acres (17,959 ha), eight national reserves that cover 315,011 acres (127,535 ha), and five national monuments covering 6,815 acres (2,759 ha). The first declared protected areas were: the national monument of Cerro Nielol in 1939, the Fray Jorge National Park in 1941, and the national reserve of Lake Penuelas in 1952.

Among the recommendations of the 1985 report by the CONAF's Department of Protected Forest Areas titled Ecological Representation of the National System of Wild Areas Protected by the State in Relation to the Udvardy Classification it was stated that according to the criteria of the IUCN, within the frontiers of Chile there was an important biogeographic unit, the Mediterranean, that was not adequately protected. In 1985, the CONAF started a basic system of classification of the native Chilean vegetation in order to understand better the country's plant formations and ecosystems and to ensure that protection under SNASPE was effective. The system recognized 8 ecological regions, 17 subregions, and 83 different plant formations.

In 1986, it was realized that in Chile there were many different forms of protection in the different regions, and some ecosystems were not even considered by the SNASPE. Almost 82% of the protected areas were concentrated in the Aisen and Magellanes regions in the far south of the country. The conclusion was reached that the sclerophyllous matorral, the steppe, and the Patagonian desert were not sufficiently protected. Special priority was given to the inclusion in the SNASPE of these under-represented ecosystems. These included the Chilean mediterranean which was progressively deteriorating. And so, several new protected areas were declared in the Mediterranean area, including the national reserve Laguna Torca covering 1,492 acres/604 ha (1986), the national reserve of the Pampa de Tamarugal covering 248,605 acres/100,650 ha (1988), and the natural monument of Isla Cachagua (1989).

These protected areas play an important role in leisure and recreation within the country. In 1988, the Chilean national system of protected areas recorded a total of 520,000 visitors, of whom 280,000 visited the national parks. In the Chilean Mediterranean the most visited areas are the natural monument of Cerro Nielol, with 130,000 tourists, and the national reserve of Rio Clarillo with 70,000 visitors.

Protected areas in the California Mediterranean

In the United States, the administrative systems governing protected areas are very complex. The conservation legislation of the protected areas is regulated at both the state and federal level. Then, at the state level, there are different areas that are protected by local or regional administrations. The conservation of parks did not officially begin until June 30, 1864 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the document ceding Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of giant redwoods to California for "public use, resort, and recreation." Shortly afterwards, on March 1, 1872 Yellowstone was declared a national park, the first in the world.

The State of California is typical of the North American mediterranean, and specifically the chaparral formation, which covers about 135,100 square miles (350,000 [km.sup.2]) of hills and rolling but not very high sites of which 32,810-38,600 square miles (85,000-100,000 [km.sup.2]) correspond to sclerophyllous forest. The dominant genera of woody plant in this chaparral, such as Adenostoma, Ceanothus, Heteromeles and Rhus, are not usually found in the other regions with a Mediterranean climate or they do not play such an important role. The proportion of endemic plants in California is very high. There are more than 25 endemic species in the chaparral, some of which are considered scarce or in danger of extinction within the state according to the California Native Plant Society.

In California the chaparral is highly protected. Within the state there are almost 100 federally protected areas. These include the following 6 national parks: Channel Islands National Park (covering 249,438 acres [100,987 ha] and created in 1980), Kings Canyon (covering 462,060 acres [187,069 ha] and created in 1940), Lassen Volcanic (covering 119,284 acres [48,293 ha] and created in 1916), Redwood National Park (covering 103,740 acres [42,000 ha] and created in 1968), Sequoia (covering 402,894 acres [163,115 ha] and created in 1890) and Yosemite (covering 761,449 acres [308,279 ha] and created in 1890). There are also 20 national wildlife reserves, 4 national monuments, and 47 fauna protection areas and 3 national leisure areas. In fact, more than 10% of the Mediterranean vegetation is within protected areas.

2. UNESCO's biosphere reserves in sclerophyllous formations

2.1 The Mediterranean biosphere reserves

The biosphere reserves declared by UNESCO under their MAB (Man and Biosphere) Programme represent the latest generation of protected areas (see section 4.1.1 of this volume and, especially, the insert "The protection of species against the danger of extinction" of volume 1). The designation "biosphere reserve" is, above all, concerned with overall management and not simply with the protection of a natural area since the latter is a logical consequence of the former. The declaration of a biosphere reserve implies the preservation of virgin natural areas as well as a guarantee that economic activities within the reserve will continue to be viable. The fulfilment of these goals depends on opportune and ecologically sound management policies. The 34 biosphere reserves with matorral and Mediterranean sclerophyllous forest formations are distributed throughout 15 countries. More than 4.9 million acres (two million hectares) of the Mediterranean biome (more than the 0.5% of the total biome) form part of a biosphere reserve: more than two million acres (833,000 ha) in the Mediterranean Basin; 671,100 acres (271,700 ha) in western and southern Australia; almost 77,065 acres (31,200 ha) in Chile; and two million acres (893,300 ha) in California. In the sclerophyllous fynbos zone of the Cape in South Africa there is the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. The first Mediterranean biosphere reserves, created in 1976, were those of the Channel Islands and San Joaquin and San Dimas in California. Of all the biosphere reserves in mediterraneans, that of the Channel Islands National Park is one of the largest (one million acres [500,000 ha]), followed by the Californian Central Coast, and the Fitzgerald River National Park in Western Australia. Smallest is the Miramare marine park (148 acres or [60 ha]) near Trieste in Italy. Links have been established between different Mediterranean biosphere reserves, the most important being the relationship between the Californian and Chilean biosphere reserves and the relationships established between all of the Mediterranean Basin reserves at the Workshops on Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves held in 1986 in Florac in the Park Headquarters of the Cevennes Natural Park Biosphere Reserve (France).

2.2 The Mediterranean Basin biosphere reserves

Within the sclerophyllous biogeographical formations of the Mediterranean Basin, 25 biosphere reserves exist in ten countries of southern Europe, western Asia, and North Africa. Not all of these 25 reserves can be considered entirely as examples of the Mediterranean biome as some represent small examples of mountain biomes, an may embrace marine meadows and coastal matorrals or extend as far as deciduous forests and alpine pastures. The first seven Mediterranean biosphere reserves were created in 1977: two in Tunisia, two in France, one in Spain (Montseny), one in Italy, and one in Croatia. The Montseny was designated as a protected area in 1928, one of the first areas of the Mediterranean Basin to be declared a reserve.

Spain possesses the greatest concentration of biosphere reserves in the Mediterranean Basin. Of the 15 Spanish biosphere reserves, 11 are sclerophyllous and Mediterranean: the Sierras de Cazorla and Segura, Donana, Grazalema, Mancha Humeda, Odiel Marshes, Montseny, Sierra Nevada, the upper reaches of the Manzanares River, the island of Minorca, Cabo de Gata-Nijar and the Sierra de las Nieves. Other countries in the Mediterranean Basin such as Algeria (2), Croatia, France (3), Greece (2), Italy (2), Portugal, Tunisia (2), and Israel also contain biosphere reserves. Between the largest there are the Sierras de Cazorla and Segura and the Sierra Nevada, both covering 469,300 acres (190,000 ha). As mentioned above, the smallest is the Miramare marine park in Italy. The total surface area of biosphere reserves in the Mediterranean Basin excels 2.5 million acres (990,000 ha).

Under the auspices of UNESCO's MAB Programme, some countries have begun work on projects to create biosphere reserves which as yet have not borne fruit. For example, in 1980 Libya invited consultants from UNESCO to give guidance on the setting up of a national park and biosphere reserve in Kouf in the Jabal al-Akhdar. Lists of possible parks have also been drawn up for countries such as Egypt where there are currently three biosphere reserves which are, moreover, not within the Mediterranean biome.

Others places which have been proposed as biosphere reserves include the Bentael National Park, proposed by the permanent UNESCO delegation in the Lebanon, and various others selected by the MAB Programme committee of Tunisia. Many of these proposals were made within the framework of the Mediterranean Biosphere Reserve Action Plan, first formulated during the I Workshop on Reserves held in Florac (France) in September 1986. Their claims were further advanced at the second meeting in Montesquiu (Catalonia) and in the joint meeting of the III MAB Workshop on Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves and the first IUCN-CNPPA Workshop on Protected Areas in North Africa and the Near East held in 1992 in Tunis.

Many areas of today's biosphere reserves have a mythical and historical significance for Mediterranean people. Mount Olympus springs to mind as the legendary home of the Greek gods, as does the Samaria Gorge, a stronghold of Christianity during the Ottoman occupation of Greece, and once said to be inhabited by nymphs.

Recently discovered cave paintings in the Cuevas de Pardis near Segura and the Iberian settlements from 4000 b.p. at Galera and Orcera and at Banos de la Marrana show that the Cazorla and Segura Mountains have been inhabited since prehistoric times. The El Ichkeul National Park Biosphere Reserve in Tunisia has been a hunting reserve for many years and its buffaloes are thought to be descendants of the herds present in Carthaginian times which were subsequently preserved for hunting. The Zembra Reserve, also in Tunisia, with its Phoenician tombs and Roman ruins has an equally interesting historical past. The palaeomediterranean, Illyrican, Roman, and Slavic remains in the Velebit Mountains Biosphere Reserve in Croatia are of great archeological importance and this region has also been declared of great ethnological interest owing to its fine rural architecture.

The 700 years of history behind the Donana Biosphere Reserve are more modest in comparison. The Donana Reserve was the favorite hunting ground of Philip IV in the 17th century, Philip V in the 18th century, and Alfonso XII in the 20th century. The forests in the Italian Reserve of Circeo are the remains of the Agro Pontino forest that in days gone by covered large areas of the Italian coastline and that were believed to be the magical kingdom of the witch Circe who turned Ulysses's companions into swine.

The Grazalema Biosphere Reserve

The Grazalema Biosphere Reserve in the south of the Iberian Peninsula contains an imposing karstic massif reaching 5,425 ft (1,654 m) with a complete altitudinal zonation of Mediterranean vegetation and exceptional botanical richness. Grazalema is home to splendid thermophilous matorral, spiny cushion summit communities, as well as various forest formations including holm oak (Quercus ilex) forests and Spanish fir (Abies pinsapo) forests. This fir is endemic to the Grazalema and the Serrania de Ronda. Grazalema also holds important bird of prey populations, and good number of large mammals. The griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) colonies are among the largest in Europe.

Characteristics and natural riches

The Grazalema Natural Park lies within the provinces of Cadiz and Malaga, almost equidistant between the cities of Seville, Cadiz and Malaga, and covers an area of 127,687 acres (51,695 ha). It is the western-most massif in the Cordillera Baetic and its nucleus is made up of spectacular rocky ridges (Sierra del Pinar) which stand out from the flatter surrounding countryside.

The mountains of Grazalema act as a barrier to the wet winds which blow in off the nearby sea (Gulf of Cadiz, 50 mi or 80 km away). The clouds cool quickly as they rise over the mountains and produce considerable rainfall, making the Grazalema region one of the wettest areas of Europe. Annually, Grazalema receives an average of 98 in (2,500 mm) of rain, although in some years this figure exceeds 156 in (4,000 mm). Despite these rainfall levels, this area is without doubt part of the Mediterranean biome and exhibits the typical irregularity of Mediterranean systems. In some years only 39 in (1,000 mm) of rain falls, and the seasonal distribution of rainfall is characteristically Mediterranean with torrential rain in winter and a long dry summer with temperatures reaching 104[degrees]F (40[degrees]C).

The substratum is composed principally of Lias, Jurassic, and Cretaceous limestones, while in the basal areas clays and Triassic gypsums appear along with irregularly distributed El Aljibe sandstones typical of the Algeciras region. The predominance of limestones and the singular amount of rain have combined to create an abrupt and complicated landscape, rich in geomorphological formations produced by karstic erosion. The landscape is full of scarred rocks, steep slopes, cliffs and vertical-sided gorges (Garganta Verde and Garganta Seca). To the east and southeast, the sandstones have created an undulating landscape with low hills that contrast greatly with the impressive peaks of the limestone massif.

Surface water in the Grazalema Mountains drains into the River Guadalete to the north, the River Majaceite to the southwest and the Guadiaro to the southeast. However, in the interior of the mountains the solubility of the limestone rocks in rainwater and the contact between materials of different degrees of permeability have created a highly original hydrological system. The almost total absence of superficial water courses means that there are very few river valleys. On the other hand, there are numerous depressions (dolines) without any apparent outlet for water. In fact, the water penetrates through cracks and fractures, dissolving the rock, and circulates in subterranean rivers through a vast network of galleries, often full of stalactites and stalagmites (the Yedra, la Rajada, la Ermita and la Pileta caverns) connected to the outside world by well-known potholes (Villaluenga, el Cacao). Many springs occur where underground rivers meet less permeable strata. For example, the River Gaduares is swallowed up by the Hundidero Cave and reappears 2.5 mi (4 km) away and flows into the large Gato Cave where it joins the River Guadiaro. The orographic and climatic peculiarities of the Grazalema Mountains have generated various microenvironments and an incredibly rich flora: over 1,200 species of vascular plants have been identified. The different vegetation strata are showcases of many different Mediterranean plant communities, from the thermo-Mediterranean, right through to the supra-Mediterranean.

The mountain range from 820 ft (250 m), the lowest point, to the high point of Torreon (over 5,250 ft/1,600 m) in the Sierra del Pinar. The predominant species, Quercus ballota, is ecologically very flexible and is found at different altitudes alongside the plants that are more specific to each altitudinal community. In the low-lying areas up to about 2,950 ft (900 m) dominated by low Mediterranean scrub, the holm oak appears with the carob (Ceratonia siliqua), wild olive (Olea europaea var. sylvestris), Rhamnus lycioides oleoides, mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus), mock-privet (Phillyrea angustifolia) and Smilax aspera. These communities are still well preserved in some areas (Monte de las Encinas, Los Laureles), although a large part of the lowland holm oak forests has been converted into dehesas or replaced by olive groves, wheat fields, and pastures. There are areas of garrigue with kermes oak (Quercus coccifera), Ulex parviflorus, grey-leaved cistus (Cistus albidus), the European fan palm (Chamaerops humilis), and other areas of matorral with rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and Anthyllis cytisoides. On the acid sandstone soils venerable cork oaks (Quercus suber) grow, sometimes mix-ed in with a few holm oaks and an understorey characterized by a large number of heathers (Spanish heath [Erica australis], tree heath [E. arborea], E. scoparia and E. umbellatum), and cistus species such as Cistus ladanifer, C. monspeliensis, C. populifolius, C. salviifolius, C. crispus. Other common species include ling (Calluna vulgaris), bracken (Pteridium aquilinum), wood sage (Teucrium scorodonia ssp. baeticum), Genista tridens, and G. monspessulana [=G. candicans]. More hunid oak and mixed deciduous and conifer forests, as well as the extraordinary Spanish fir forests appear between 2,950-4,950 ft (900-1,400 m). The Lusitanian oak (Quercus faginea) occupies the lower parts of this zone where the environment and soils are more humid, and it is often found mixed in with holm oaks, cork oaks, Spanish firs, and with the typical bushes such as hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), sloe (Prunus spinosa), and wild roses (Rosa) found on the edges of deciduous forests. A few oaks (Quercus canariensis), common in the neighboring region of Algeciras, grow in the Barrida Gorge near Ubrique.

The Spanish fir (Abies pinsapo), endemic to the Sierra de Grazalema and Serrania de Ronda and undoubtedly the most valuable floristic element of the Reserve, grows on the northern, more Atlantic slopes of the Sierra del Pinar. It is found between 2,950 and 5,250 feet (900 and 1600 m), although the densest patches are concentrated between 3,280 and 4,590 ft (1,000 and 1,400 m) where it has formed a forest of 988 acres (400 ha), the best surviving community today of this species. The gloomy atmosphere of the forest floor and the acid leaf-mold prevents the formation of an understory, although some species such as spurge laurel (Daphne laureola), hellebore (Helleborus foetidus), ivy (Hedera helix), honeysuckle (Lonicera etrusca), and helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra) can survive. In humid hollows at lower altitudes, the Spanish fir mixes in with oak, whereas at higher levels it penetrates into communities of maple (Acer monspessulanum) and whitebeam (Sorbus aria). It can also survive alongside holm oak in crevices and depressions in the karstic areas, as well as with the low cushion formations at the summit of Erinacea anthyllis, Vella spinosa, Bupleurum spinosum, Ptilotrichum spinosum, and Arenaria racemosa. On the south-facing slopes of the Sierra del Pinar, Phoenician juniper (Juniperus phoenicea) is dominant and a few scattered holm oaks and Spanish firs descend as low as 2,296 ft (700 m). The rupicolous (growing on and around rocks) vegetation is very impoprtant due to the abundance and diversity of rocky habitats. Many interesting species are found, some of which belong to more ancient floras. Especially worthy of mention are Papaver rupifragum, a poppy endemic to Grazalema, Saxifraga boissieri, endemic to the Sierra de Grazalema and Serrania de Ronda, and Silene andryalifolia and Ionopsidium prolongoi, Baetic-Mauritanian endemics. Along permanent water courses there are still magnificent riverbank communities of narrow-leaved ashs (Fraxinus angustifolia), smooth elm (Ulmus minor), white poplar (Populus alba), black poplar (Populus nigra), and willow (Salix alba, S. fragilis and S. atrocinerea). In dry river beds, there are oleander formations (Nerium oleander), reeds (Phragmites australis), and bulrushes (Typha dominguensis). In a few areas, the presence of saline water has allowed halophyte communities of glasswort Salicornia ramosissima, sea spurrey (Spergularia marina), and beaked tassel-pondweed (Ruppia maritima) to flourish. The variety of habitats and the wide range of trophic resources offered by the plant communities opf the Park allow a very diverse fauna to survive. Moreover, various migration routes between Europe and Africa pass through Grazalema. In total, 136 species of birds (sedentary and migrant), 40 mammals, 14 reptiles, 10 amphibians, and three fish have been recorded in the Park. The forests are home to abundant large herbivores such as the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), here at the southern limit of its range, and the red deer (Cervus elaphus), a recently reintroduced species. Among the smaller mammals, northern hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus), common white-toothed shrews (Crocidura russula), pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) and greater horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) are some of the more typical species, as is the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) among the amphibians. Birds are everywhere: phytophagous species such as the wood pigeon (Columba palumbus), turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur), chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) and greenfinch (Carduelis chloris) live alongside insectivores such as the coal, blue, great and crested tits (Parus ater, P. caeruleus, P. major and P. cristatus), golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus), green woodpecker (Picus viridis), great spotted woodpecker (Picoides [=Dendrocopos] major) and short-toed treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla). Forest predators include the rare and endangered wild cat (Felis silvestris), Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon), European genet (Genetta genetta), weasel (Mustela nivalis), and polecat (Mustela putorius), traditionally domesticated and used for catching rabbits. Higher up the forest trophic chain, there are a number of raptors such as the tawny owl (Strix aluco), buzzard (Buteo buteo), sparrowhawk (Accipter nisus), and booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus), as well as the horseshoe snake (Coluber hippocrepis). The jay (Garrulus glandarius) and wild boar (Sus scrofa), neither very common, are omnivores which are closely linked to forest environments. Rocky areas and cliffs offer few trophic resources but are, on the other hand, excellent biotopes for breeding and shelter. The ibex (Capra hispanica) is one of the most interesting species in Grazalema, and one of the most evident animals in the first level of the trophic chain. The commonest insectivores are birds such as the common and spectacular alpine swift (Tachymarpis [=Apus] melba), crag martin (Ptyonoprogne [=Hirundo] rupestris), black wheatear (Oenanthe leucura), blue rock thrush (Monticola solitarius), kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), and little owl (Athene noctua); the latter two species are raptors which supplement their diet of small mammals with large insects. Among the predators, the area is very rich in birds of prey such as the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Bonelli's eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus), eagle owl (Bubo bubo), and peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) and there are good populations of beech martens (Martes foina) and Lataste's viper (Vipera latasti). Finally, all the Park's scavengers, including the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) and one of the biggest griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) colonies in Europe, breed there on the cliffs. Many of the predators which live in and around the forest and rocky zones hunt in the maquis and garrigue, as well as in other open spaces. There are many types of small finches such as the linnet (Carduelis cannabina), goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) and serin (Serinus serinus), as well as rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), Cape hare (Lepus capensis), and partridge (Alectoris rufa), much bigger prey. All feed on the rich and diverse plant matter of the shrub communities. Many insectivores feed in the matorral: the Algerian sand racer (Psammodromus algirus) and spiny-footed lizard (Acanthodactylus erythrurus), as well as the subalpine warbler (Sylvia cantillans), Dartford warbler (Sylvia undata), northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), black-eared wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica) and stonechat (Saxicola torquata) are all common. One of the most common predators in the matorral is the ocellated lizard (Lacerta lepida). The few rivers and streams which flow in the Park form a biotope characterized by the presence of water and soft herbaceous plants. They contain fish such as the barbel (Barbus bocagei), amphibians such as the sharp-ribbed salamander (Pleurodeles waltl) and tree frog (Hyla meridionalis), reptiles, such as Mauremys caspica, and mammals such as Mediterranean water shrew (Neomys anomalus) and Etruscan shrew (Suncus etruscus). Among the many birds, there are white, grey, and yellow wagtail (Motacilla alba, M. cine-rea and M. flava), chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita), Bonelli's warbler (P. bonelli), wood warbler (P. sibilatrix), melodious warbler (Hippolais polyglotta), olivaceous warbler (H. pallida), Sardinian warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), Orphean warbler (S. hortensis), blackcap (S. atricapilla), house martin (Delichon urbica) and sand martin (Riparia riparia). The most typical predator of fluvial environments is the otter (Lutra lutra).

Reserve management and problem solving

The interesting archeological remains discovered in the Park are evidence that the area was densely populated in prehistoric times. In addition to many lesser finds, the most important are the Palaeolithic cave paintings in the Pileta and Gato caves and the extraordinary Veredilla cave complex with its wonderful Neolithic red pottery dating from the 7th millennium b.p., Iberian and, above all, Roman remains, including the vestiges of towns (Ocurris [Ubrique], Iptuci [Prado del Rey], and Lacibula [Grazalema]), Roman roads, aqueducts, necropolises, villas and water tanks, as well as coins and pottery have been found. There are also important medieval remains from the Visigothic period and from the Muslim civilization which held on in the area until 1485 (the upper parts of Benaocaz, fortifications in Zahara, Aznalmara, Cardela, and Audita).

Today over 30,000 people live in the area, principally in the attractive white villages (pueblos blancos) which still preserve the old urban structures and local architectural forms. These villages, spread out against the dark background of the hillsides, are an essential part of the Grazalema landscape. Economic activities were closely linked to the natural environment and consisted of stock-raising, agriculture, sylviculture, and the traditional manufacture of cloth and leather goods, activities which survived until fairly recently along with the traditional way of life, customs, and religious holidays (Corpus Christi in Zahara and el Gastor, reenactments of the battles between Moors and Christians in Benamahoma, etc.).

During the second half of this century, the socio-economic structure of these mountain regions has had to face a series of difficulties which has caused many young people to move away and, in a more general sense, has provoked an economic decline in the area. Nevertheless, some traditonal economic activities still persist. Cork and carob beans are still collected, dry-farming continues, and extensive stock-raising is practiced in the forests which have been transformed into dehesas. Small game is still shot and honey, cheese and artesanal sausages are produced. The traditional production of crafted leather goods in Ubrique, which is said to have imported seal furs from Russia, has evolved towards a thriving industry based on goat skins. Recently, an attempt has been made to revive the traditional manufacture of blankets in Grazalema. Clean springs and rivers have enabled trout farms to be set up and coarse fishing is popular. Tourism, attracted by the natural, cultural and, scenic splendors of the area, is beginning to be seen as an important facet in sustainable local economic development. Grazalema was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1977, and on December 18, 1984, the Environmental Protection Agency of the Andalusian Regional Government (Agencia de Medio Ambiente [AMA]) declared the area a Natural Park. Since then, it has formed a part of the network of protected areas in Andalusia whose aims are four-fold: conservation, education, recreation, and socio-economic growth. The Park is managed by a Director appointed by AMA. The Management Plan, ratified on December 27, 1988, establishes a management framework for the Park which includes the delimitation of areas and the different activities that can be carried out therein. This is a necessary step towards the fulfillment of the Park's objectives. Three categories of areas have been defined. Firstly, the Reserve itself which includes the most valuable ecosystems, strictly protected, where the only permitted activities are the investigation and study of wildlife. Secondly, there is an extensively managed area where primary economic activities compatible with the stability of natural systems and recreational visits are allowed. Finally, there is an intensively managed area consisting of areas which have been highly altered by economic activities and which the Plan proposes to regulate and manage.

The main areas of environmental management involve the monitoring of animal populations through studies of nesting and breeding; fire prevention; regeneration of the plant cover; and forest conservation. The strict protection of the Spanish fir has been proved to be working as the Spanish fir forest is currently expanding. The vegetation on karstic slopes, after years of pasturing by goats, cutting for firewood, and deliberate fires, is also recovering well. The principal problems facing the Reserve are poaching and forest fires.

The Plan has also given priority to certain lines of research which are supervised by a scientific committee. The use of the Park for scientific work is considerable although more could be carried out. The AMA has, above all, encouraged the study of the fauna of the Park (situation of the roe deer, censuses of ibex and birds of prey), while universities and other bodies are studying the vegetation, geology, and landscape.

The Plan has created a management structure (Gerencia de Promocion) whose aim is to promote economic development in local communities by optimizing existing activities and promoting new ideas through grants from outside the Park and technical help for individual concerns. A lot of work has still to be done to maintain the human population of the area and to involve local inhabitants in the future of the Reserve. This policy is very promising as it is very important to establish effective mechanisms that will encourage coordination with local people and their participation in the Park. One pioneering project is the establishment of a cooperative to promote green tourism and adventure tourism. Planning for public access will concentrate on information and interpretation, environmental education, and civil protection. Currently there is basic infrastructure for visitors with centers in the villages of El Bosque and Grazalema, although the information center is only open all year in the latter village. Various information brochures and routes have been published and a small botanical garden is being built that will contain the most characteristic plant species of the area. Nevertheless, the interpretation and educational programs are just beginning and will have to be enhanced with better facilities (an interpretation center and a historical-ethnographic museum are to be opened) and more staff.

Given the surface area of the Park, the number of visitors is low (1.7 visitors per acre or 0.7 visitors per hectare per year). However, one of the principal problems facing the Reserve is the negative impact of the public (high concentrations of visitors in small areas, fires, camping and other uncontrolled activities). The boom in adventure sports may also have a negative effect on certain animal populations (hang-gliding disturbing breeding birds of prey). The villages of the area still need to be provided with better sewage and waste disposal systems to prevent pollution, especially serious in the case of the contamination from the leather good factories in Ubrique. Equally urgent is better control over construction to stop the growth of dangerous illegal housing complexes and the disfiguring of the traditional architectural styles of many villages.

The case of the El Kala Biosphere Reserve

The complex of the El Kala Biosphere Reserve in Algeria is considered one of the three most important wetlands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is notable for its sclerophyllous forests and other ecosystems that contain plants that are nationally and internationally rare. Its natural cork oak forests contain the last specimens in Algeria of a variety of maritime pine (Pinus pinaster renoui) and the alder grove in Nicha Rirhia (in the center of the reserve and approximately 2,625 ft [800 m] long) is one of the largest and least deteriorated riverine forests in North Africa and contains many species that need humidity, such as the abundant royal fern Osmunda regalis. The Kala is also important as the last refuge of the Barbary red deer (Cervus elaphus barbatus) in the Mahgreb and a refuge for the otter (Lutra lutra) and the caracal (Felis caracal).

Natural characteristics and values

The National Park of El Kala existed before the Biosphere Reserve and is located on the Mediterranean coast of northeast Algeria, near the frontier with Tunisia in the wilaya (district) of al-Tarf near the city of el-Kala, 311 mi (500 km) east of Algiers. Its climate corresponds to the limit between the humid and sub-humid Mediterranean bioclimatic zone. The average temperature is 47.4[degrees]F (8.5[degrees]C) in the coldest months and reaches 86[degrees]F (30[degrees]C) in the hottest months. The average yearly rainfall varies between 34.3 in and 46.4 in (879 mm and 1,191 mm) and depends on the altitude and the distance from the mountains. El Kala was accepted as a Biosphere Reserve in 1990 with a total area of 235,733 acres (95,438 ha). The central area occupies 45,730 acres (18,514 ha), the buffer zone occupies 138,649 acres (56,133 ha), and the transition zone 4,424 acres (1,791 ha). The peripheral area occupies a further 46,930 acres (19,000 ha). When it was declared a national park on July 23, 1983 it received total legal protection. Until then and during the French colonial period is was known as the "Reserve de la Calle." The park includes the natural reserve of lake Oubeira and the Lake Tonga and Melah hunting reserves, included in the Ramsar Convention on November 4, 1983. The park is situated on the plain and the outlying hills of the Great Tell Atlas, specifically the mountains of Kroumirie which reach an altitude of 663 ft (202 m). The rocky layer of the low land consists mainly of an alternation of Tertiary and Quaternary sandstones and clays, although in the hills there are also acidic Oligocene rocks. The relief is gentle, reaching 656 ft (200 m) in Djebel Ghorra, and between the coast and the mountains there is a well-developed dune system, running parallel to the coast and reaching a height of 581 ft (177 m). The filtration of water in the soil from the dunes allows the formation of fringing forest dominated by the alder (Alnus glutinosa), and very shallow lakes and marshes surrounded by woody hills. Some of these small lakes and marshes are refuges for overwintering migratory birds. Lakes Oubeira and Tonga consist of enclosed basins of fresh water 19.7-39.4 in (0.5-1 m) in depth with abundant vegetation and limited supply of water. Lake Melah is a saltwater lagoon connected to the sea.

The plant communities include large areas of primary forest, maquis, garrigue, highly degraded croplands as well as meadows of riparian or marsh vegetation. The dominant ecosystem is sclerophyllous Mediterranean forest, which occupies 71.4% of the Biosphere Reserve. In El Kala it is possible to find seven or eight forest communities, dominated by cork oak (Quercus suber), Lusitanian oak (Q. faginea), garrigues, forests of maritime pine (Pinus pinaster), maquis of mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus) and wild olive (Olea europaea sylvestris), riparian vegetation, and groves of alder. The most widespread forest community is the cork oak with undergrowth dominated by different species of heath (Erica scoparia, E. cinerea, E. tinnaria, E. arborea), strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo), myrtle (Myrtus communis) and mock-privet (Phillyrea angustifolia). Groves of Quercus faginea are only found in the areas at altitudes greater than 2,952 ft (900 m).

The plant dominating the coastal juniper groves are juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus), savin or Phoenician juniper (J. phoenicea), kermes oak (Quercus coccifera) and Cistus salviifolius, which may develop into thermophilous matorral with mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus), olive (Olea europaea var. sylvestris), strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo), mock-privet (Phillyrea angustifolia), genista (Genista tricuspidata), bracken (Pteridium aquilinum), and myrtle (Myrtus communis). The noteworthy species of the garrigue include sage (Phlomis bovei), Halimium halimifolium, Coronilla valentina, and violet (Viola sylvestris). The kermes oak may reach a height of one or two meters and is found all along the coast in exposed and highly degraded biotopes near human settlements; it is the dominant species on the coastline between Cape Rosa, El Kala and Cape Roux.

On the coast there are two types of pine forest; those of Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) and mixed forests of Aleppo pine and maritime pine (P. pinaster). In the coastal dunes these communities also include the Phoenician juniper (Juniperus phoenicea), Jasminum fruticans, Daphne gnidium, Rhamnus alaternus and genista (Genista aspalathoides).

The riverine forests are dominated by communities of alder (Alnus glutinosa) and ash (Fraxinus angustifolius), tall forests that apparently represent the least deteriorated sites of the Biosphere Reserve, following the network of river channels. There are also other associated species, such as willow (Salix pedicellata), elm (Ulmus minor), oleander (Nerium oleander), and white poplar (Populus alba). In the transition between the lake and land zones there are alder groves with populations of willows (Salix alba and S. cinerea).

In the levels with the deepest water table, the undergrowth beneath the alders includes shrubs like the Mediterranean buckthorn (Rhamnus [=Frangula] alnus), brambles (Rubus ulmifolius) and laurel (Laurus nobilis), climbing plants such as ivy (Hedera helix) and the wild vine (Vitis vinifera) and plants endemic to Algeria, such as the Hypericum afrum, Campanula lata and Solenopsis [=Laurentia] bicolor.

The species dominating the vegetation submerged in the marshes and pools in of El Kala are pondweed (Potamogeton) in the eutrophic Oubeira lake, and the tasselweed (Ruppia spiralis) in the brackish Lake Melah. In the freshwater lakes, the helophytic vegetation consists of beds of club-rushes, reeds, and reedmaces, with club-rush (Scirpus lacustris), common reed (Phragmites australis [=communis]), and the narrow-leaved bulrush (Typha angustifolia) together with variable patches of yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus) accompanied by the white water-lily (Nymphaea alba) and Sparganium erectum.

The endangered plants found in El Kala include, in Lake Oubeira, Polygonum senegalense and Paspalidium obtusifolium; and in lake Tonga, cord-grass (Spartina patens), duckweed (Lemna trisulca), white water-lily (Nymphaea alba), lesser spearwort (Ranunculus flammula), Cardamine parviflora, and the water chestnut (Trapa bispinosa).

The low areas of the Biosphere Reserve are very important feeding and breeding areas for the local bird fauna. The cork oaks and shrub communities near the lakes contain wood pigeon (Columba palumbus), turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur), black kite (Milvus migrans), green woodpecker (Picus viridis), great spotted woodpecker (Picoides [=Dendrocopos] major), wryneck (Jynx torquillo), Cetti's warbler (Cettia cetti), blackcap (Sylvia atricapillla), Bonelli's warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli), and serin (Serinus serinus). The aquatic fauna includes many wigeons (Anas penelope), up to 9,000 pochards (Aythya ferina), about 12,000 tufted ducks (A. fuligula), and about 5,000 coots (Fulica atra). The low areas are also important hunting grounds for the osprey (Pandion haliaetus) and hundreds of marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) that overwinter in the region.

The mammals include wild boar (Sus scrofa), otter (Lutra lutra), caracal (Felis caracal) and the Barbary red deer (Cervus elaphus barbarus), which is found among the cork oaks and the Lusitanian oaks. In the past the fauna of the forest areas was much richer, and in the late 18th century abbot Poiret commented on the presence of Barbary leopards and lions in the forests close to the former French fortification of Vieux Calle and Lake Melah.

In the El Kala region there are some endemic and sub-endemic species of Mediterranean bird, some endemic to Algeria itself, such as a subspecies of the Yelkouan shearwater (Puffinus puffinus yelkouan), the shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis demarestii) and a subspecies of the purple gallinule (Porphyrio porphyrio porphyrio). The Bou Redim marshes house one of the most important heron colonies in the Mediterranean Basin, with squacco heron (Ardeola ralloides), grey heron (Ardea cinerea), purple heron (Ardea purpurea) and night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax).

Other areas in the El Kala park are occupied by grazing land, plantations of white poplar, thickets of brambles, fields subject to flooding, and croplands that as a whole represent a large part of the protected area.

Management and problems

Human beings have lived in this area since antiquity. Archeological remains include Neolithic megaliths and dolmens in the Djebel Ghorra, Roman ruins and the remains of a French fortress from the 17th century, Vieux Calle, where at least 400 people died from malaria in 1679. There are also several monuments in the park built to commemorate battles that took place in Algeria's war of independence. Throughout the park there are many scattered villages and hamlets with traditional houses made of adobe mud walls. The total estimated population in 1990 was 67,246 people, and their livestock grazed a large area of land within the park. The rural economy is based on the cultivation of cereals and fruit trees, stock-raising, and small industry. Agricultural land covers about 37,050 acres (15,000 hectares) within the park. The park was created to protect the unusual marsh complexes, and their fauna, flora, water resources and historic monuments, as well as the region's typical landscape and lifestyles. In collaboration with University College, London, studies and a draft management plan were proposed, and the plan has been followed since 1986. Recently UNEP and the World Bank funded a scheme to develop this management plan. The Biosphere Reserve is divided into five areas. The first is an integral reserve; the second is a protected, or wild area; the third area allows limited growth; the fourth area acts as buffer zone; and the last area is a peripheral transition area.

Although the El Kala Biosphere Reserve is considered as a protected site, it is inhabited and exploited, as tourism, industry, and housing developments are permitted within the park. The activities that are tolerated vary from one area to another. The first area's unique and unusual characteristics mean it can only be used for scientific research; the second area (natural or wild) allows no development, even the construction of main roads; in the third area there are sections where modest expansion is permitted, although it is regulated; the fourth area is intended to buffer the first and second areas against possible external impacts and camping is allowed in it; in the fifth zone, the peripheral areas, all types of construction are allowed. The park authorities consider it very important to maintain human activities, such as agriculture and aquiculture, and thus grazing, silviculture, and fishing are allowed. The exploitation of natural resources is controlled and hunting is prohibited. The park's administration is the responsibility of a resident director and a number of permanent staff under the control of a management committee with representatives from 11 ministries and the local authorities. Recently, there have been ecological improvements to the Tonga and Fetzara lakes (which were dredged in the 1930s), including bringing back into operation the former sluices to bring water back to the lakes.

The park's educational activities consist of guided visits round the shores of Lake Tonga. The usual complement of researchers consists of about 100 Algerians and about ten foreign. The most complete study of the park was performed by Bougacelli and a group of research students in 1976. The resources available to the researchers include a field research station, a meteorological station, and experimental stations to plant trees and raise fish. The Algerian National Office of Forest Studies has drawn up vegetation maps, and maps of the park's limits and zones. The major environmental problems are the degradation of the forests due to grazing and forest fires, and construction of roads through the forest, hunting pressure on the shores of the lakes, the drainage of wetlands, the extraction of ground water, and dredging.

Other problems include agricultural exploitation, excessive human occupation, illegal hunting, the accelerated increase in semi-natural habitats, such as the vegetation of wetlands, and the loss of the coastline. Other changes have occurred in the park's characteristics with the gradual loss of the traditional culture, shown in the replacement of the typical mud-straw huts by modern European-style cement houses.

2.3 The biosphere reserves in the Australian-mediterraneans

The two Mediterraneans in the Australian continent have a single biosphere reserve, the Fitzgerald River National Park, which was established in April 1978. The Fitzgerald River reserve is on the coast, and rises from sea-level to a height of 1,499 ft (457 m). Its relief is as highly varied as are its flora and fauna. Its climate is mild with a rainfall varying between 24.6 in (630 mm) a year on the coast and 14.6 in (375 mm) inland. The minimum annual temperature is 49.3[degrees]F (9.6[degrees]C) and a maximum of 74.3[degrees]F (23.5[degrees]C).

The Fitzgerald River Biosphere Reserve

The Fitzgerald River Biosphere Reserve occupies a site full of contrasts, on the southwest coast of Australia, 124 mi (200 km) east of the city of Albany, that covers an area of approximately 494,000 acres (200,000 ha), representing the Mediterranean biogeographic province of Western Australia.

Natural characteristics and values

The Fitzgerald River National Park is one of the world's two biosphere reserves that illustrates the effective integration of human beings with their environment. (The other is the Cevennes National Park in France, whose landscape has been modelled by human beings.)

The reserve has many species of animals and plants, some of which are in danger of extinction while others have very restricted distributions. The vegetation is very diverse and the flora includes 1,750 species, 75 of which are endemic to the reserve or a part of it, and 204 species have features that make their conservation a priority. This means that 20% of the plant species growing in Western Australia are represented in the reserve. This rich flora is a sample of diversity of the the biotopes and complex evolutionary history of the area in which the reserve occurs, and which in many cases has paralleled that of the South African floras. The landscape is divided between forests of mallee, scrub, ponds, agricultural areas, farms, and hedges. The fauna is also the richest in southwestern Australia, as it consists of some species adapted to semi-arid climates and others adapted to wet environments. There are five species of rare and endangered mammals, four species of bird that need protection, and one rare species of reptile.

The area was declared a Biosphere Reserve in April 1978. Shortly before, on January 19, 1973, the area had been declared a national park of the first category, covering 599,726 acres (242,804 ha) and with the possibility of adding a further 125,970 acres (51,000 ha). The Biosphere Reserve is located to the west of the southern coast of the Western Australia, 248 mi (400 km) southeast of Perth and 93 mi (150 km) north of Albany. It stretches from near Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe in the east to Brener Bay in the west. The Gairdner River which flows into Gordon Inlet, forms part of the park's western limits, and the Phillips River which flows into Culham Inlet, forms part of the eastern boundary.

The region's climate is typical of the southern part of Australia. The summer season between November and March tends to be temperate, with hot days and cool nights. Most of the annual rainfall is in the winter season, when the days are cooler, and there may be frosts at night inland. Downpours and thunderstorms are common throughout the year. The annual rainfall varies between 24.6 in (630 mm) on the coast and 14.6 in (375 mm) inland.

The topography includes wide, deep valleys produced by erosive action of rivers, rolling sandy plains and rugged mountains reaching an altitude of 1,499 ft (457 m). There are also some of the most impressive coastal landscapes of the southwestern coast of Australia. The sandy plains overlie a substrate of laterite crossed by many streams. The tributaries of the Fitzgerald, Gairdner, Phillips and Hamersley rivers run southeast through very narrow valleys. The Hamersley and the Fitzgerald rivers have formed cliffs of splendidly colored spongiolite (a sedimentary rock of marine origin). Both these rivers flow into very wide estuaries that are often separated from the open sea by sandbanks that may stabilize as a result of the plant colonization. The park is crossed by a series of ranges of isolated of hills with some spectacular metamorphic peaks of pre-Cambrian quartzite. To the east of the Fitzgerald River the ridges continue straight into the sea, and so the coast has some very steep slopes and cliffs. The west of the estuary of the Fitzgerald River is characterized by long beaches edged by dunes.

As a result of its exceptionally rich flora, the Fitzgerald River Biosphere Reserve is a very rich group of habitats, including forests, matorral, and mallee scrub. If introduced plants are included, the total number of plant species reaches 2,400. The plants that most dominate the landscape are different species of eucalyptus, as they grow in both the wet areas and the semi-arid ones. The shrub species of eucalyptus in the mallee are typical of the drier areas of the Mediterranean climate and replace the forests of the wetter areas.

It is possible to identify 12 major plant communities. The park is dominated by very open mallee, true mallee, and shrubland. The "kwongan," a coastal heath typical of southwestern Australia, is more common in the more exposed areas of coastline, while the forests are mainly found on soils formed on serpentine on riversides and in marshy areas. The mallee ecosystems have a shrubby undergrowth, while the more open mallee scrub is on the colonized, more fertile brown soils and appears to grow only in the areas with Mediterranean climates. In the open mallee formations just 10 or 12 species of shrubby eucalyptus dominate the ecosystem. They have broad, sclerophyllous leaves and are about 10 ft (3 m) in height. The undergrowth normally consists of herbaceous plants, although in the more arid areas there are some semi- succulent chenopods.

In the mallee vegetation there are six major plant formations; the white mallee (Eucalyptus diversifolia); that of E. incrassata and broombush (Melaleuca uncinata); that of E. incrassata and porcupine grass (Triodia irritans); on the most fertile soils the formation of Eucalyptus behriana, the red mallee (E. socialis) and E. dumosa; and the formation consisting of E. oleosa and Triodia irritans. In the Biosphere Reserve the structure of the mallee scrub tends to be dispersed, with scattered shrubby eucalyptus (including E. diversifolia) and a lower layer of sclerophyllous matorral 10-79 in (25 cm-2 m) in height. The most representative plant families in the area are: the Myrtaceae, represented by the fringed myrtle (Calythrix involucrata) and Leptospermum laevigatum; the Proteaceae, represented by seven species of the genus Hakea; as well as Leguminosae, Asteraceae, and Epacridaceae. The more prominent species include banksia (Banksia coccinea), with its spectacular scarlet inflorescence and leaves similar to the kermes oak (Quercus coccifera) of the garrigues of the Mediterranean Basin, and the royal hakea (Hakea victoriana) with its variegated leaves.

The wealth of the flora in the Fitzgerald River Biosphere Reserve is clearly reflected in the great diversity of its biotopes and in the complexity of its evolutionary history. Recent research shows the dominant eucalypts in the mallee still maintain a rhythm of growth in the summer that dates from the Tertiary, when this part of Australia enjoyed a sub-tropical climate in which the seasonal variation in climatic conditions were quite unlike the current Mediterranean regime with its dry summer period. This is why these trees only grow in the summer, the season that is now the driest part of the year in this part of Australia but which was the rainy season in the Tertiary before Australia separated from the remains of the ancient continent of Gondwana.

The Biosphere Reserve's great variety of biotopes means there is also rich birdlife. There are 175 species of bird, including the endangered ground parakeet (Pezoporus wallicus). The birds of the Australian mediterraneans account for 36% of Australia's terrestrial bird species, including the honey eaters (Meliphagidae), psittacids, such as parrots and cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus), thornbills (Acanthazidae), whistlers (Pachycephala and monarchs [Monarcha]), fly-catching muscicapids, wrens (Malurus), pied butcher bird (Cracticus nigrogularis), and pardalote (Pardalotus). The coastal area between the Fitzgerald River and Two People Bay near Albany is the natural habitat of four bird species in danger of extinction, including the western bristlebird (Dasyornis longirostris) and the western whipbird (Psophodes nigrogularis). Two more birds worth mentioning are the Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) and the mallee fowl (Leipoa ocellata). The ground parakeet (Pezoporus wallicus) has a dark green plumage, and is a noisy inhabitant of the scrub, the only region where it is found. Surveys show that in the 1920s only two or three nests were found. The species now only lives in the wild in two areas of Western Australia: one is the Cape Arid Natural Park, in an area of 6 square miles (15 km2) and the other area is in the Fitzgerald River Biosphere Reserve, where there is only a single very small population of just 100-200 individuals.

A total of 21 species of native mammal are now known, including the very rare marsupial called the dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) formerly thought to be extinct, and the Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea). However, in the last 80 years several species of mammal have in fact become extinct. The relatively common animals in the reserve's areas of mallee include the grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus, M. giganteus) and black-gloved wallaby (M. irma), and the tiny honey possum (Tarsipes rostratus). Another possum, Trichosurus vulpecula, lives in the taller mallee located near to watercourse. There are 41 species of reptile in the reserve including lizards (Scincidae), and there are 11 species of frog (Sphenophrinidae). Most of the mallee's amphibians are normally found in the permanent waters of rivers and lakes. Some of the nest-forming frogs, however, reproduce in temporary pools and later spend the dry summer season in their nests. These include Lymnodynastes dumerili, Neobatra-chus centralis, and N. pictus. There is little information on invertebrates, but it is known that there are occasional spectacular shows of handsome coleopterans, jewel beetles, members of the Buprestidae.

Management and problems

The Aboriginal population was decimated by European colonists and there are almost no traces of them left. After their disappearance, there have been almost no permanent inhabitants inside the area that is now the Biosphere Reserve, although remains found include many small mines, a 19th century telegraph line, rabbit traps, farms that failed, and the remains of fishing activities. The only permanent residents in the center of the reserve are the park's wardens. In the outer areas there are farms and other constructions. Near the park there are four settlements with fewer than 300 inhabitants, and some cultivated areas. Access to the reserve is restricted for tourists and visitors. There are only two camping centers and a small number of nature routes. Within the park, in Twerput, there is a local group that works in the Field Studies Centre. Important research incudes broad ecological studies of a Mediterranean ecosystem virtually undisturbed by human action, and studies of the biogeographical and interspecific relationships between the fauna of southern Australia and the rest of the former continent of Gondwana.

The park's location and size and its relatively untouched state makes it a very suitable place for the study of the world's climate. Research projects are now underway studying the relief, hydrology, soil, and socioeconomic relations with a cooperation area around the reserve, whose authorities have organized a database that any researcher may access. There are also points of contact between the local community and the visiting researchers, offering accommodation, guides, specialist assistance, and advice.

In order to manage the area well, studies have been performed on the ecology and behavior of the rarest species of the reserve, for example the ground parakeet (Pezoporus wallicus). In the case of this species, monitoring the individuals requires them to be caught, using large nets in order to fix a radio emitter that allows them to be monitored at a distance. It is also becoming more and more necessary to understand the impact of several factors on the reserve, such as the effects of mallee fires on the flora and fauna, the spread of the deadly fungal disease caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi, and tourist activities. The wardens have selected and inventoried 72 permanent sites for the study of their flora and fauna. A geological map has been drawn up a scale of 1:250,000, and doctoral theses have been written on a wide range of subjects, including the structure of the quartzites.

There have been no known major changes in the natural ecosystems as a result of human action, except for changes in the fire regime. Yet the fact that during the last three decades many upstream areas supplying the reserve's watercourses have been brought into cultivation has caused an increase in agricultural contamination by chlorides, phosphates, and silt. Tourism, in turn, has significantly contributed to further erosion of the paths in the coastal areas. In 1990 a management plan came into force. Most of the management tasks that have been carried out so far relate to forest fires or tourist access. The area's has been divided with a peripheral buffer system that is 656 ft (200 m) wide to protect it from fires. The local management is the responsibility of the Regional Manager of the Albany Department of Conservation and Land Management, and the Fitzgerald River MAB Project in Hopetoun.

The Fitzgerald River MAB Project started in September 1988 with a study of a 66,690 acre (27,000 ha) watershed east of Hopetoun that sought to remove the causes of soil degradation, mainly salinization and flooding, without restricting itself to considering each use of the area individually. The idea was to work with a group of farmers, who each contributed 500 Australian dollars, and to draw up outline action plans to rehabilitate the soil through cultivation.

Eight farms in the project area drew up partial plans based on the project's objectives. Where appropriate perennial plants were used to fix the soil, the fences were moved to make them coincide with the drainage lines or the adequate soil types, and the shrubs left were protected to avoid degradation. Most of the commercial perennial plants were introduced species, including legumines such as Cytisus proliferus and alfalfa (Medicago sativa); grasses such as meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis), rye (Secale cereale) and lovegrass (Eragrostis tenella); and trees such as pistachio (Pistacia vera), grown for its nuts and some eucalypts, such as the blue gum (Eucalyptus saligna) from southeast Australia, grown for their wood.

Even so, the approximately 2,300 native wild plant species of the zone have great potential for the project's objectives. One example of this is (Eucalyptus spathulata), known locally as the swamp mallee, which is remarkable for its tolerance of flooding and moderate salinity, and also because it is an excellent source of eucalyptus oil. A group of farmers on the southern coast, near Needilup, is now is organizing itself so as to replant this local tree in areas at risk of flooding and to build a factory to extract the essence. Another species under investigation is Melaleuca alernifolia, known as the tea tree, which is originally from New South Wales and produces an essential oil with antifungal properties that is used in medicine.

2.4 The biosphere reserves in the Chilean Mediterranean

In the biogeographical provinces of the Chilean Mediterranean there are only two biosphere reserves, covering a total of 76,987 acres (31,169 ha). The oldest, the National Park of Fray Jorge y Las Chinchillas, covers an area of 34,763 acres (14,074 ha) and was declared a reserve in 1977. The other, the La Campana-Penuelas Biosphere Reserve covers 42,225 acres (17,095 ha), and was established in 1984.

General considerations and overall assessment

The biosphere reserves are located in the sclerophyllous complex of the Andean coast and include very diverse landscapes, with peaks reaching 2,952-7,288 ft (900-2,222 m) in La Campana, to the mountains forming the Coastal range, which run through Fray Jorge to reach 2,499 ft (762 m) above sea level. Las Chinchillas is at an altitude of 1,230- 1,401 ft (375-427 m) above sea level. In both reserves, the soil is almost totally sandy, with a total lack of nitrogen. The average annual temperature varies between 59.9[degrees]F and 66.2[degrees]F (15.5[degrees]C and 19[degrees]C) and rainfall is 8-15 in (215-375 mm) per year. Fray Jorge Park has a modified desert climate. The average monthly temperature is 57.9[degrees]F (14.4[degrees]C), and the wind blows from the southwest all year long, apart from the winter when it blows from the north. When the humid coastal breezes blow from the sea to the coastal mountains almost permanent clouds form around the summits and they are usually accompanied by rainfall. The waters of the Penuelas lake are always fresh and the area includes marshy areas, flowing waters and some meadows that sometimes flood.

The Fray Jorge and Las Chinchillas Biosphere Reserve

The Fray Jorge and Las Chinchillas Biosphere Reserve covers an area of 34,763 acres (14,074 ha), and consists of a series of protected areas that are discontinuous, some separated by distances of a hundred of kilometres. The Biosphere Reserve includes the Fray Jorge National Park and Las Chinchillas National Reserve. The climate is Mediterranean, and the vegetation of this part of central Chile is represented by sclerophyllous matorral; also present is the Fray Jorge cloud forest, also called temperate rainforest. These forests are called "Valdivian," and are green oases surrounded by semi-arid sites, and they are of importance because they conserve, in isolated locations, some plants that are genuine living fossils more characteristic of more southerly rainforests. The Biosphere Reserve contains nearly all the most representative animals of the Chilean mediterranean's fauna, and Las Chinchillas contains the only known population in the wild of the endangered chinchilla (Chinchilla laniger).

Natural characteristics and values

Fray Jorge was declared a national park for tourism-related purposes on March 29, 1941, and after some modifications on June 1, 1967 it was accepted as a Biosphere Reserve in June 1977. Las Chinchillas was created as a national reserve, and as an extension of the Fray Jorge Biosphere Reserve, on November 30, 1983. The Fray Jorge National Park has an area of 24,599 acres (9,959 ha), between the national parks of Fray Jorge, Talinari, and Punta del Viento. It is located in Chile's Administrative District IV, in the province of Limari and the municipality of Ovalle, more than 280 mi (450 km) north of Santiago and 7 mi (11 km) south of La Serena. Las Chinchillas covers 10,4446 acres (4,229 ha), and is 124 mi (200 km) to the south in a mountainous area 9 mi (15 km) northeast of Illapel. It is also the administrative district IV. The reserve forms part of the coastal Andean complex and runs from the river Elqui in the north to Aconcagua in the south, and goes from sea level to 2,500 ft (762 m) in Fray Jorge, and from 1,230 ft to 4,681 ft (375 m to 1,427 m) in Las Chinchillas. The Fray Jorge park runs along the Coastal range. In the reserve there are two types of relief; coastal plains and the mountainous interior. In the coastal plains of Fray Jorge there are terraces of marine or pluviomarine origin. There are no permanent rivers or streams in the park but there are springs. The mountainous area of Las Chinchillas has a relief crossed by small rolling hills and the valleys of the basins of the tributaries of the River Auco, including the El Cobre, El Pollo, Torca Chillan, Las Mollacas, Las Yeguas and Las Gredas rivers. The soils are mainly sandy, deficient in nitrogen, and formed from Cretaceous rocks and sediments. In Fray Jorge, the climate ranges from sub-humid Mediterranean to modified desert. The average monthly temperature is 57.9[degrees]F (14.4[degrees]C), with a maximum of 65.5[degrees]F (18.6[degrees]C). The winds are usually from the southwest, except in winter when they blow from the north. As the moist coastal breezes reach the Coastal range, the summits of the mountains are almost permanently covered in clouds, with abundant mist and rainfall. In Las Chinchillas, the average annual temperature is 59.9[degrees]F (15.5[degrees]C), and the rainfall is about 8 in (215 mm) per year at an altitude of 1,230 ft (375 m) above sea level.

The Biosphere Reserve is located in an area adjoining Mediterranean matorral and semi-desert steppes on one side, and tree and shrub formations of the Coastal range on the other. The coastal communities of matorral have been highly modified by development and stock-raising, although they are still rich in endemics. These communities reach as far as La Serena, and form a zone of transition between desert and matorral, and they have annual rainfall of 5-17.5 in (127- 449 mm) per year. Perennial sclerophyllous plants gradually become scarcer to the north and are replaced by typical desert species. About 95% of the plants of the matorral are endemic. In the sclerophyllous forests of matorral there is a mixture of tropical elements with temperate elements from the southern hemisphere. From an evolutionary perspective its flora, and the more arid transition communities with the northern desert, show clear affinities with tropical and subtropical floras, like the Tertiary elements in the Californian chaparral.

The typical plant communities of matorral consist of evergreen sclerophyllous shrubs between 3 ft and 10 ft (1 and 3 m) in height, such as the litre (Lithrea caustica) and soapbark tree (Quillaja saponaria) which are the dominant species. Other shrubby (and sometimes tree) species include the canelilla (Cryptocarya alba), corontillo (Escal-lonia pulverulenta), Kaganeckia oblonga and Colliguaja odorifera. Three genera of asteraceae (Baccharis, Haplopappus, Senecio) occasionally form diverse associations of low shrubs. The herbaceous cover of the mature communities of matorral, unlike those in the Californian chaparral is abundant and can reach 40%.

Yet the plant communities in the reserve are very diverse. At an altitude of 1,476 ft (450 m), at the park's northern tip, the woody vegetation is restricted to patches dominated by Aextoxicon punctatum and Mirceugenia correaefolia together with Rhaphithamnus spinosus, separated by areas of shrub and herbaceous vegetation dominated by Lythrum hyssopifolium, Distichlis spicata, Haplopappus foliosus, Berberis, Kageneckia oblonga and Fuchsia lycioides. Above altitudes of 1,640 ft (500 m), there are typical associations of winter's bark (Drimys winteri) with Aextoxicon punctatum. In contrast, on the coastline the strip of woody vegetation is dominated by Adesmia angustifolia, Proustia pungens, and the bromeliad Puya chilensis. Cassia stipulacea and Porlieria chilensis are the most characteristic constituents of the vegetation up to an altitude of 492-656 ft (150-200 m).

In Fray Jorge and in Talinay there are the best-known examples of the relict forests of the late Tertiary and early Quaternary. These are temperate moist forests where the moisture-laden winds arriving from the sea are intercepted by the slopes of the coastal range. They condense and form cool mists that allow many Valdivian plants to grow far to the north of their range. The existence of cloud forest in San Jorge is analogous to the southern groups of redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) in California. These relict species in Fray Jorge, are essentially southern species whose center of distribution is 621 mi (1,000 km) to the south, and include forest communities of Acaena ovalifolia, Aextoxicon punctatum, Azara microphylla, winter's bark (Drimys winteri), Dryopsis glechomoides, Griselinia scandens, Gunnera chilensis, Mitraria coccinea, Sarmienta repens, and Urtica magellanica. Some scattered sites have several ferns of zones that are intermediate between cool and temperate, which are at the northern limit of their range in the Fray Jorge park. The vegetation characteristic of the east of the reserve consists of semi-desert shrub formations dominated by the Gutierrezia paniculata and Chuquiraga ulcina. Other important trees include the incense tree (Flourensia thurifera), Proustia pungens, and Adesmia bedwelli. In the more arid areas to the north the vegetation consists of cacti such as quisco (Trichocereus chiloensis) and Eulychnia acida, mixed in with Adesmia angustifolia and Cassia stipulacea. In Las Chinchillas there are six plant communities, dominated respectively, by Coliguaja odorifera and Proustia pungens on the southern faces; by Flourensia thurifera and Bridgesia incisiifolia on the northern slopes; and by Adesmia microphylla on the others.

The park contains most of the species typical of Chile's Mediterranean fauna. Of the 60-100 species of bird, many are normally found there or just overwinter there. The bird community of the matorral is very rich and diverse, and has common species, such as the Chilean tinamou (Nothoprocta perdicaria), unprotected and often overhunted, dove (Zenaidura auriculata), meadowlark (Sturnella loyca), thrush (Turdus falcklandii), finch (Diuca diuca), mockingbird (Mimus thenca), and blackbird (Curaeus curaeus). There are also swallows (Tachycineta meyeni [=Hirundo leucopyga]), hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus), barnowl (Tyto alba), striped woodpecker (Picoides lignarius), burrowing owl (Speotyto cunicularia) and Oreopholus ruficollis. The population of the Chilean pigeon (Columba araucana) was almost eliminated by an epidemic in 1956, but by 1972 the survivors had managed to recolonize several areas of forest. The bird fauna of Las Chinchillas also includes the Chilean tinamou (Nothoprocta perdicaria), the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), harrier (Circus cinereus), burrowing owl (Speotyto cunicularia), American black vulture (Coragyps atratus), white-throated caracara (Phalcoboenus albogularis), dove (Columbina picui), firecrown (Sephanoides sephanoides [=S. galeritus]), Pteroptochos megapodius, Anairetes parulus, and meadowlark (Sturnella loyca).

There are few mammals left in Fray Jorge, the most notable are South American fox (Pseudalopex ...... [=Dusicyon] culpaeus), small grison (Galictis cuja), and hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus chinga). The guanacos (Lama guanicoe) and chinchilla (Chinchilla laniger) are now extinct in the reserve, although there is still a population of chinchillas in the Las Chinchillas reserve. In the same area there are mouse opossum (Marmosa elegans), Octodon degus, small grison (Galictis cuja), puma (Felis concolor), and pampas cat (F. colocolo). In Fray Jorge there are many rodents but few amphibians, which are abundant in the areas of cloud forest. There are various species of reptile typical of the Chilean and coastal area, the most notable being the iguana (Calopistes maculatus). The Valdivian forest contains several species that are at the northernmost limit of their ranges. The more important members of the introduced exotic fauna include the California quail (Lophortyx californica) and the European hare (Lepus europaeus).

Management and problems

In 1974 a management plan was drawn up that lays down the aims of the Fray Jorge National Park. Zonation, of great importance in planning the reserve, includes an area that is inaccessible, a pristine area, one for intensive use, another for extensive use and another for special use. Bearing in mind that most of the agricultural space is in the Chilean biogeographical province, the management takes into account the traditional uses of the area by the local human population. The management plan lays down the detailed planning for camping areas, accommodation, and a tourist information and environmental education center.

There is no agriculture, intensive stock-raising, or forest exploitation, although some livestock has been introduced from neighboring areas. However, in Las Chinchillas there has been overgrazing, the felling of trees, and coal mining. Although the entire area is protected, erosion has not been halted, livestock is still grazed in the meadows and there are motorways and railway lines crossing the area.

The most important current research projects are basically related to the management of the district. Research priorities include the study of the microclimate, plant succession, the natural regeneration of the desert area, and an evolutionary study of the forest and its degradation. There are also studies of the fauna and of the general ecology, and the possibility of reintroducing species that used to live in the district, such as the guanaco (Lama guanicoe) and the Chinchilla (Chinchilla laniger). In Fray Jorge the facilities are still limited, but in Las Chinchillas there is good access and accommodations for scientists.

2.5 The biosphere reserves in the Californian Mediterranean

The Californian Mediterranean has four biosphere reserves (the experimental forest of San Dimas, the experimental dehesa of San Joaquin, the Central California Coast, and the Channel Islands), which cover a total of about 2 million acres (893,294 ha), ranging in size from 4,446 acres (1,800 ha) to about 1 million acres (480,000 ha). Three were approved in June 1976, and the fourth, the Central California Coast Biosphere Reserve, in November 1988. Of these sites, the one that has been protected for longest is the San Dimas Experimental Forest. It was established as a reserve by order of the Chief of the Forest Service on March 28, 1934. The Channel Islands Biosphere Reserve was declared a national monument in 1938, and on March 5, 1980 it was extended and declared a national park. The Californian biosphere reserves are mostly concentrated on the Pacific coastline in an area stretching from the south of Santa Barbara County to the north of the San Francisco Bay, as well as an area 50 mi (80 km) to the northeast of Los Angeles and a sector of the central part of the Sierra Nevada.

General considerations and overall assessment

The relief of these areas ranges from the coastal plains and even part of the sea, such as the national marine sanctuary of Gulf Farallon, to the heights of the Sierra Nevada. The limits of the Marine sanctuary reach six nautical miles into the eastern Pacific Ocean in the Central California Coast Biosphere Reserve. The Channel Islands Biosphere Reserve includes the five islands in the California Channel (Anacapa, San Miguel, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Santa Rosa), as well as an area of six nautical miles from each island. In the hills of the San Joaquin Experimental Dehesa Biosphere Reserve there are many outcrops of granitic rocks. The Channel Islands reserve includes representative examples of the world's largest coastal terraces, several marine caves, steep coastlines, beaches, mountains, and valleys. The San Dimas Experimental Forest Biosphere Reserve includes two watersheds on the slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains, one of which, the basin of the California River, descends to Los Angeles, while the other, the San Gabriel River, flows into the Pacific Ocean.

The area's climate is Mediterranean. Most of the annual precipitation occurs in winter in the form of rain, although on the coast humidity may be high in summer. The rainfall varies between 19.5 in and 26 in (500 mm and 678 mm) at an altitude of 2,395 ft (730 m), and 95% of this falls between October and April. The temperatures are between 68[degrees]F and 86[degrees]F (20[degrees]C and 30[degrees]C) in summer and 28[degrees]F to 46[degrees]F (-2[degrees]C to 8[degrees]C) in winter on the Channel Islands. These temperatures can reach 81[degrees]F to 102[degrees]F (27[degrees]C to 39[degrees]C) in July in San Joaquin and in the San Dimas experimental forest, where the annual precipitation lies between 19 in (483 mm) in San Joaquin and 26 in (678 mm) in San Dimas.

The Central California Coast Biosphere Reserve

The Central California Coast Biosphere Reserve lies to the west of San Francisco Bay and north of the city. It consists of the coastal area and an area six nautical miles into the Pacific Ocean, including the Farallon Gulf and some parts of the bay and the main islands, Alcatraz and Angel.

Natural characteristics and values

The Biosphere Reserve is especially interesting for many different reasons: the vegetation is virtually untouched, with coastal meadows, islands, freshwater wetlands, forests and moist coastal areas. It also houses some of the largest and most diverse populations of marine birds and pinnipeds on the western coast of North America below Alaska, and the largest seabird breeding sites in the mainland United States. There are seven species that are classified as endangered in the United States, four of which are on the State of California's list of protected species and an indeterminate number of species covered by federal laws protecting marine mammals.

The area was declared a Biosphere Reserve in November 1988, and covers over one million acres (404,863 ha), 974,620 acres (394,583 ha) of which are on dry land, and 948 square nautical miles in the sea. The zone includes and surrounds several especially important protected areas: the coast of Point Reyes, the Golden Gate Recreational Area, the National Marine Sanctuary of Farallon Gulf and the wildlife reserve of the Farallon Islands, the western part of Marin Peninsula (Marin Municipal Water District) and the Californian state parks of Tomales and Samuel P. Taylor. The extensions proposed for the years 1992-1993 include the Audubon Canyon Ranch, the Bodega Marine Reserve, the Cordell Bank Marine Sanctuary and the Jasper Ridge Biological Reserve. The first area of the reserve to be protected was Point Reyes, designated a National Seashore on September 13, 1962, followed by the Golden Gate recreational area, whose legislation was approved in 1972. The Farallon Gulf Marine Sanctuary was declared a protected area in 1981, under section III of the law governing the protection, research and marine sanctuaries.

The Biosphere Reserve's zonation is complex, and includes 76,0766 acres (30,800 ha) that are strictly protected to maintain as them relatively isolated and undisturbed. There is a 41,990-acre (17,000-ha) area where some stock-raising activities are permitted. Fishing is permitted in the waters of the Farallon Gulf, but only using traditional methods. Broadly speaking, the different areas are distributed in a central area, a buffer area of 877,566 acres (355,290 ha), and a transition area of 22,410 acres (9,073 ha). The extension proposed for 1992-1993 would add another four additional units, adding 2,984 acres (1,208 ha)--2,347 acres (950 ha) in the central area of the reserve and 630 acres (255 ha) in the buffer zone and 397 square nautical miles of sea (all in the core area).

This Biosphere Reserve is best example in the United States of the Californian sclerophyllous biogeographical province, with 20 of the terrestrial communities of the biome. One of its unusual characteristics is that it covers the entire spectrum from terrestrial zones to estuary and sea, and includes representatives of all the elements of the biogeographical unit it belongs to. There are more than 674 different plants in the area it covers, making it a center of endemic species of great importance at the level of the State of California.

The terrestrial part consists of protected areas that are natural, semi-natural and grazed, in some acres controlled fires are still permitted in order to maintain biodiversity. Within the reserve it is possible to admire excellent examples of natural or modified areas, from the virgin areas of coast redwoods and the intact chaparral communities to the modified coastal meadows or the forests of Douglas fir. The region's landscape is typically open, with mountain chains, which reach 2,394 ft (730 m), running to the coastline and giving rise to rocky promontories, coastal terraces, dunes and lagoons.

The marine area is formed by a series of low granitic islands located at the edge of the continental platform. Then the sea bottom falls away to a depth of 4,260 ft (1,300 m) between Farallon escarpment and the Santa Clara Basin. This zone is well known as being tectonically active, especially along the San Andreas Fault, the border between the Pacific and North American plates. The fault crosses the Bios-phere Reserve together with other smaller connected faults. The area is basically formed of sedimentary rocks with some intrusive mesozoic rocks, and Tertiary granites and basalts. To the west of the San Andreas fault there are also basalts and metamorphic rocks, mainly in the San Francisco formation. The marine habitats range from intertidal zones and pelagic and deep ocean habitats representative of the Oregon marine province of the northeast Pacific. Offshore, there are extensive beds of Laminaria with a very diverse marine fauna. Normally, at least five species of pinniped are found there, together with 17 species of cetaceans, and because this area is an important migratory route in the migration season a large number of both sedentary and migrant birds are observed. There are also some historic sites, such as Alcatraz Island, Fort Point, Fort Funston, West Fort Miley and Fort Mason.

The region's climate is typically Mediterranean, with dry summers and very rainy, wet, winters. In the summer months the coast is typically covered in sea mists. Rainfall varies from 20 to 27 in (500-700 mm) at sea level and 79 in (2,000 mm) at an altitude of 2,395 ft (730 m). The average temperatures are 66.9[degrees]F (19.4[degrees]C) for the warmest month and 42.9[degrees]F (6.1[degrees]C) for the coldest month. This part of the Pacific coastline is bathed by cold water that circulates from Punta Concepcion to British Columbia, known as the California Current.

Throughout the Biosphere Reserve, the vegetation is typical of the Californian mediterranean. It can be divided into three broad categories, the coastal chaparral, the coastal shrub communities and the mixed forests of conifers and broadleaves. The chaparral includes protected areas and others that are grazed, and is dominated by chamiso (Adenostoma fasciculatum), manzanita (Arctostaphylos), redroot (Ceanothus) and chinquapin (Castanopsis). The coastal shrub communities are represented by sagebrush that basically consists of Californian sagebrush (Artemisia californica), and locally the white sage (Salvia apiana). The communities of mixed forest grow in specially protected areas, where controlled fires are allowed in order to encourage new growth. The forests contain a mixture of broadleaf trees and needle-leaved trees, they are dominated by species such as the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), mixed with sclerophyllous species, such as the tanbark oak (Lithocarpus densiflora), California live oak (Quercus agrifolia), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and madrona (Arbutus menziesii), a member of the same genus as the strawberry tree that grows in the Mediterranean (A. unedo). On the coast there are meadows, grazing land with grasses, and saltmarshes dominated by succulent plants and glasswort (Salicornia). Other land communities include riverbank and meadow communities growing on serpentine substrates. More than 80% of the remaining wetlands in California are within the limits of the Biosphere Reserve, an exceptional area for the migratory birds that travel along the Pacific coastline. In the marine part of the reserve, the subtidal and intertidal areas have dense beds of large seaweeds, kelps, dominated by the laminarian algal genera Nereocystis and Macrocystis, and meadows of marine flowering plants.

The notable plants in danger of extinction in the United States include Raven's manzanita (Arctostaphylos hookeri ravenii), and the California state list of endangered species includes Bolinas Ridge (Ceanothus masonii) and clarkia (Clarkia francisca), plants whose distribution has shrunk due to human use and abuse over the centuries. There are a further 11 species on the state list that might be found in the Biosphere Reserve, including the Tamalpais manzanita (Arctostaphylos montana), Bolinas manzanita (A. virgata) and the San Francisco gum plant (Grindelia maritima).

The fauna of the Biosphere Reserve, except perhaps for the cetaceans and pinnipeds, has been decimated by their direct exploitation and use of their habitats by humans and by their proximity to major urban centers.

Some land animals, such as the San Francisco strangling snake (Tramnophis sirtalis tatratae-nia), the marsh mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), the Blue Mission butterfly (Icaricia icarioides missionensis), spotted bay butterfly (Euphydras edita bayensis) and Saint Bruno's Magic butterfly (Incisalia mossii bayensis) are in danger of extinction at both the state and federal level. In the sea, the fauna is richer than on land; there are up to 22 marine mammals, including five species of pinniped, such as the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), Steller's sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) and the common seal (Phoca vitulina). There are also 17 species of cetacean, most of which pass through the reserve on their migration. These interesting cetaceans include the grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus), humpback whale (Meg-aptera novaeangliae), common porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), and Dall's porpoise dolphin (Pho-coenoides dalli). Although it seems beyond doubt that the marine fauna is very varied, the research performed cannot reasonably be considered complete, partly due to the difficulty of obtaining samples from the deep sea. In the subtidal and pelagic environments there are more than 20 species of very common fish, including several species of salmon (Oncorhynchus), redfish (Sebastes) and several species of serranidae. The grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus), sea otter (Enhydra lutris), the Californian freshwater shrimp (Syncaris pacifica), and Eucocyclogolius newberryi are some of the species on the state or federal lists of coastal or marine species in danger of extinction.

The reserve's bird fauna includes more than 123 species of aquatic birds. The Farallon Islands and the cliffs at Point Reyes are the sites chosen by large breeding colonies and by migratory populations, such as the colonies of brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) and some notable birds of prey such as the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). Marine and wetland species on state and national protection lists include the brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) and the clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus)

Management and problems

The area is of great cultural importance, as it includes a former Indian settlement, the remains of a Russian colony, a Spanish colony, and one of the pioneer settlements of the gold rush and the American Civil War. Archaeological excavations have uncovered more than 100 sites of interest in Point Reyes National Seashore, and the remains of settlements proving the existence of communities of Miwok Indians.

The area is also rich in more recent historical and cultural remains, including traces left by the English explorers of the period of Queen Elizabeth I of England, Mexican ranchers, Asiatic and European gold prospectors, and by the continual flow of immigrants from Europe. In 1579, the area was explored by Sir Francis Drake's fleet led by the Golden Hind. Seven years later the galleon under Sebastian Rodriguez Cermeno was shipwrecked off San Francisco. This ship has already been found, and so the area is also of interest for the old boats conserved at the bottom of the bay, including the schooner C.A. Thayer, the steamship Wapama, the lighter Alma, and the boat Jeremiah O'Brien built in 1943. Other notable historical constructions include the grim former prison-island of Alcatraz, several military forts, such as Fort Point, Fort Funston, West Fort Miley, Fort Mason, and other and many costal gun batteries, such as the Chamberlin, famous for its 95,000 pound guns, dated 1906.

The region has a total of six million inhabitants concentrated around the bay, although nobody lives in the center of the reserve, in the buffer zone or in the zone of influence. Yet controlled grazing is permitted within the reserve. Every year there are almost a million visitors attracted by the museums, galleries, boat excursions, the bathing on the beaches, nature routes, leisure areas, campsites, recreational parks and the horse riding. Popular activities also include salmon fishing, whale watching, and sea excursions along the coast. In some cases, large-scale commercial fishing is allowed for human consumption, including salmon (Oncorhynchus), redfish (Sebastes), serranids, ling (Molva), and jurels (Trachurus).

The Biosphere Reserve is organized into independent units. Thus, the Farallon Gulf Marine Sanctuary belongs to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration); the Farallon fauna reserve belongs to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate Recreation Area belong to the National Park Service; and the Tamales Bay and Samuel P. Taylor State Parks are the responsibility of the California State Parks and Recreation Department. The Biosphere Reserve is divided into a series of management and multiple use areas, in some of which restoration projects are underway or planned. The core area is scrupulously protected, while some of the buffer areas are often used for recreational activities or grazing. Activities allowed include angling, commercial fishing and aquaculture, controlled grazing and burning of matorral, tourist development, and military maneuvres. Experimental restoration projects are also repopulating the coastal dunes with natural vegetation.

The center of the reserve is protected by the masterplan for the Farallon Gulf Marine Sanctuary, which was prepared in 1987 by the NOAA, of the U.S. Commerce Department. The adminstration plan for the marine sanctuary gives special priority to research projects to be carried out over periods of more than ten years. These include of basic studies on populations and habitats, their distribution, and other basic aspects that are still not well understood, control studies of the most representative species and habitats and analytical studies to determine the causes of the environmental impacts. The management plan includes an action plan with a program in three parts: resource protection, interpretation, and education, and research. The plan's priority is to ensure improved protection of the environmental resources of the Mediterranean vegetation and the marine environments, and to ensure the multiple and compatible use of the oceanic area, to increase public awareness and support, and lastly, the promotion of management-related research programs. The main agency responsible for the wardening the reserve is the California State Department of Fish and Game. The National Park Service collaborates in the ordinary administration and in the development and implementation of the educational program. NOAA has cooperation agreements with both bodies, they have a base in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to coordinate the participation of each agency in the reserve's administration. There are also programs that involve the participation of several agencies in the Point Reyes National Seashore and California's state parks.

Perhaps the most serious of the menaces threatening the Biosphere Reserve are the high levels of water and air pollution, and the potential danger of oil spills. The beaches and dune areas receive too many visitors, and fishing is still not sufficiently controlled. Over the last few years more and more seabirds and marine mammals have been trapped in the nets of local fishermen.

Over the last 100 years a great deal of research has been carried out in the reserve. Scientific research has always been encouraged, especially when the results might help to solve major management problems. Many activities have been based on comparative ecological studies of the chaparral and herbaceous communities with the convergent communities that exist in Chile and in other parts of the world. These include studies by H. Mooney on plants and E. Fuentes on lizards. A major study has been performed without interruption since 1850 of the migratory birds that pass over San Francisco Bay and along the coastal Pacific route, that has been the basis of ornithological research over the last century and a half, and is now controlled from the bird observatory at Point Reyes, which was built in 1972. Other institutions undertaking research include the National Fisheries Service Tiburton Laboratory, the Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory and the University of California Long Marine Laboratory. Yet more institutions participate in studies of the region, such as the University of California (at Berkeley, Davis, and Santa Cruz), California State University (at San Francisco, Hayward, and Sonoma) and World College West.

259 Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa, with a heath in the foreground and sclerophyllous formations in the middle distance. The first protected areas known as national parks were created in the United States more than a century ago; the concept of protected space soon spread throughout the world, and there are now protected spaces in most countries. As natural parks were created to protect nature and also for human leisure-- sometimes in total contradiction--it became necessary to create other forms of protection, but none was totally satisfactory, as the human species was not considered as an integral part of nature. This is why the concept of the biosphere reserve was born in 1971, which included human beings and their activities as integral elements of the area in question. Areas were not fenced off and controlled exploitation was permitted. At the same time, an international network of reserves was established to exchange experiences and research results.

[Photo: Colin Paterson-Jones]

260 The area of protected areas of sclerophyllous vegetation in the countries of the Mediterranean Basin, including all the different protective statutes (natural parks, biosphere reserves, etc.).

[Drawing: Editronica, on the basis of data provided by the author]

261 The Bontebok National Park in South Africa owes its name to the bontebok (Damaliscus dorcas dorcas), the animal it was set up to protect. This park fulfills all the criteria established by the United Nations for national parks. Firstly, its ecosystems have not been exploited by humans, secondly, the flora, fauna and geomorphology are of enormous scientific interest (the renosterveld, shown in the photograph; see section 1.3 of this volume), thirdly, the Park is run by state authorities, and lastly, educational, cultural, and recreational visits are permitted. The type of protection given to natural areas varies from one country to another according to the perceived necessities and priorities, as well as the financial, institutional and legislative efforts that each country has chosen to or has been able to implement. Equally, the great variety of natural formations found in protected areas means that management strategies cannot necessarily be compared. Hence the variety of different names used throughout the world for protected natural areas and management policies.

[Photo: Anthony Bannister / NHPA]

262 The Cape Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra zebra) is one of the most important animals in the De Hoop Reserve, a protected area which embraces various ecosystems including the typically South African fynbos. Only 600 individuals of this finely marked zebra remain; its narrower stripes and slighter build separate it from other members of its genus. It is found scattered throughout many South African nature reserves.

[Photo: N.J. Dennis / NHPA]

263 Eucalyptus forest typical of the pre-dune systems of Nambung National Park, in Western Australia, created in 1968 and which covers an area of 43,253 acres (17,500 ha). The photo shows an area dominated by the manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis), also called stringybark because of the long strips of bark that are shed from the trunk was taken in the moist sclerophyllous formations of the Brindabeld Ranges. The landscape is highly homogeneous throughout the formation, with a low herbaceous layer, a shrub layer of ferns, and a tree layer of eucalyptus.

[Photo: Wayne Lowler / Auscape International]

264 The educational efforts of Chile's National Forest Corporation (CONAF) is based on the prevention of forest fires, because of with their high frequency in sclerophyllous Mediterranean formations.

[Photo: Jordi Vidal]

265 The composite Core-opsis gigantea is endemic to Santa Cruz Island, one of the Channel Islands (California), a site with some of the last representatives of the Mediter-ranean vegetation of North America, including 80 endemic species. The Channel Islands have never been joined to the mainland, but it is thought that when sea levels were lower, the four northernmost islands formed a single island.

[Photo: Stephen Krasemann / NHPA]

266 Mediterranean biosphere reserves included in the United Nations listof national parks and protected areas with surface areas and declaration dates. (In hectares, 1 hectare= 2.5 acres.) The De Hoop Natural Reserve has been included although strictly speaking it is not a biosphere reserve. Some of the reserves included not only represent the sclerophyllous formations dealt with in this volume. Instead, they represent orobiomes or mountain biomes, or in other words, biomes within the Mediterranean climatic area that are also heavily influenced by another important physical factor such as the proximity to the coast (the Camargue) or altitude (the Montseny).

[Maps: Editronica, from data supplied by UNESCO]

267 The U Fangu Valley in NW Corsica, carved out from rhyolite deposits which have filled an ancient granitic canal, was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1977. It is principally important for the typical sclerophyllous Mediterranean vegetation, consisting of a dense holm oak forest and the different types of matorrals form part of the succession to a forest formation. Some of the most interesting animals include the moufflon (Ovis musimon), wild boar (Sus scrofa), various species of deer, and a number of very important bird populations.

[Photo: Ernest Costa]

268 The Montseny mountains in the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range in NE Iberian Peninsula, that reaches 3,323 ft (1,700 m), are characterized by a wealth of different plant formations. The photograph shows the typical Mediterranean holm oak (Quercus ilex) forest which covers the slopes of Taga-manent, one of the principal peaks (3,461 ft or 1,055 m) of the SW of the Montseny mountains.

[Photo: Oriol Alamany]

269 Mediterranean landscape in the Sierra de Caillo in the Grazalema Biosphere Reserve in the extreme south of the Iberian Peninsula. Most of the Reserve experiences a Mediterranean climatic regime, although the peculiarities of the climate and relief means that a much more varied vegetation with a large number of endemic forms has been able to evolve. Apart from the typically Mediterranean holm oaks and carob trees, the Reserve also contains Spanish fir, cork oak, and deciduous oak forests, as well as numerous rock and fluvial communities. However, human action has severely altered the whole face of the Reserve, and in the more arid zones the vegetation has been degraded by centuries of grazing by goats, fire, as well as by firewood extraction and agriculture.

[Photo: Oriol Alamany]

270 Spanish fir (Abies pinsapo) forest. This fir is found in the mountains of Grazalema, Ronda, and Las Nieves in the pre-Baetic sierras, and represents the most valuable plant formation in the Grazalema Biosphere Reserve. The forest occupies 989 acres (400 ha) and has been expanding and recovering since the Reserve was created. Some authors consider the fir to be endemic to the southern Iberian mountain ranges, while others consider that it is only a variety of the firs found in the Mahgreb.

[Photo: M. Rafa / Arxiu Ala-many]

271 The poppy Papaver rupifragum is almost only found in the Grazalema area. It lives in shady, rather humid cracks in calcareous rocks at around 2,953 ft (900 m). The reason why many plant species are restricted to these southern Iberian mountains is related to its special climatic features and relief which distinguish it from the surrounding areas, which are generally totally Mediterranean, making it the ecological equivalent of an island. Rainfall is abundant, falling above all in autumn and winter, and is combined with the typically high temperatures of the southern Mediterranean which can reach 104[degrees]F (40[degrees]C) for a few days at the height of the summer.

[Photo: Abelardo Aparicio]

272 The griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) is a gregarious bird that breeds in large colonies on ledges or in caves on cliffs, preferably on sunny calcareous rock faces such as those found frequently throughout the Grazalema Reserve. The population of griffon vultures has declined greatly in the Iberian Penin-sula, above all due to a loss of habitat. Nevertheless, a number of recuperation programs are currently underway and many are proving to be successful thanks in no small part to the support given by the public.

[Photo: Oriol Alamany]

273 Zahara in the Grazalema mountains, like other villages within biosphere reserves, has been inhabited for many centuries and many of its popular traditions are still alive today. Humans from across the centuries have left their mark in many areas of the Park and Paleolithic, Roman, Visigothic, and Muslim remains, as well as cave paintings (especially in the Pileta cave), have been found. The Muslim inheritance has been immortalized in the name Zahara or flower which, according to legend, was the name of Mohammed's daughter. In June, on the religious holiday of Corpus Christi, the village holds its annual fiestas and the local population covers the streets with flowers that fill the village air with perfume and color.

[Photo: Oriol Alamany]

274 The Phoenician juni-per (Juniperus phoenicea) is a palaearctic and circum-Mediterranean species well adapted to arid climates and windy places. It prefers calcareous rocks and dry, rocky locations, although it will grow on any substratum. It grows very slowly and survives for many years.

[Photo: Oriol Alamany]

275 The desert lynx or caracal (Felis caracal) has always been much appreciated and assimilated by human cultures. The Egyptians revered it as a mythical figure and often depicted the svelte form of its body and eyes. In India, it was domesticated to hunt small mammals. Being found all over Africa, it has often mistakenly been called the African lynx. However, it is also common throughout the Arabian Peninsula and in Asia as far as the Aral Sea and NW India. It is equally at home climbing trees in the open savannah as in sandy deserts. One of its African strongholds is the Algerian El Kala reserve, although this photograph was taken in the Zebra Mountain National Park in South Africa.

[Photo: Anthony Bannister / NHPA]

276 Linnaeus named the shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis--a common bird in the Mediterranean--after Aristotle. It normally breeds on inaccessible ledges and in sheltered caves up to 328 ft (100 m) up on sea cliffs. Linnaeus' homage to Aristotle was in recognition of the Greek philosopher's writings on nature: of his 50 known works on zoology 25 have survived and include descriptions of 140 species of birds.

[Photo: M. Rafa / Arxiu Ala-many]

277 Dunes cover much of the surface of the Fitzgerald River Biosphere Reserve. The most structured ones are on lateritic soils at the mouth of the Hamersley River.

[Photo: Reg Morrison / Auscape International]

278 The flowers and buds of one of the eucalyptus of the Australian mallee, Euca-lyptus incrassata, a shrubby species that does not grow higher than 7 ft (2 m).

[Photo: C. Andrew Henley / Auscape International]

279 The mallee fowl (Leipoa ocellata) lives in areas of dry vegetation in semi-arid areas of south and southeast Australia. It is one of the three curious mound builder or incubator birds found in the Australian continent. At the beginning of the southern winter (June), the pair prepares an incubator consisting of a depression that the birds fill with decomposing vegetable matter. The female lays her eggs inside the mound in September and the heat from the decomposing plants along with the heat from the sun is sufficient to incubate the eggs until they hatch. The chicks are capable of looking after themselves from the moment they hatch. In the photograph, taken by Frank Park, a pair of mallee fowls are working on their nest depression.

[Photo: Frank Park / ANT / NHPA]

280 The honey possum (Tarsipes rostratus), a small marsupial from the Australian mediterranean, feeds on nectar and pollen but not honey, in this case from a flower of a member of the Proteaceae. Lightly built and resembling a shrew, this opossum uses its prehensile tail and the first opposable toe of its hind feet to grip branches when it needs its front feet for feeding. Phylogenetically it is an isolated species and it is thought that it must have evolved over 20 million years ago when large open spaces covered with flowering plants were common. The photograph was taken in the Fitzgerald River Reserve where this species is one of the most common marsupials.

[Photo: Reg Morrison / Auscape International]

281 The Barren Ranges run into the sea just west of the mouth of the Fitzgerald River. Formed by pre-Cambrian quartzites that cross the park from west to east, they terminate in spectacular coastal cliffs. The vegetation of this small range (37 mi [60 km] long) is a mosaic of heaths and mallee areas mixed with riverine forests and marshes. Of the 600 species of plant in the area, 60 are endemic.

[Photo: Reg Morrison / Aus-cape International]

282 Coastal sclerophyllous matorral growing in the Fray Jorge y Las Chinchillas Biosphere Reserve in an area with one of the few patches of the site's original vegetation. In the foreground are clumps of cardon (Puya chilensis).

[Photo: Juan A. Fernandez / Incafo]

283 The cardon (Puya chilensis) forms part of the typical coastal vegetation of Chile's Mediterranean area. This bromeliad belongs to a family with many terrestrial or epiphytic species that grow in areas ranging from tropical forests to altitudes of more than 13,123 ft (4000 m) in the Andes. The photo was taken in the Concon area of Valparaiso. The accumulation of water between the leaves allows the development of communities, called phytotelmic, found only in these moist microenvironments.

[Photo: Xavier de Sostoa & Xavier Ferrer]

284 The only surviving population of the chinchilla (Chinchilla laniger) in the wild lives in the Las Chinchillas Biosphere Reserve. Native to the Chilean and Peruvian Andes, this species was once common in dry rocky mountainous areas between 9,842 and 16,404 ft (3,000 and 5,000 m). Its natural populations were decimated by the fur trade hunted for its long, smooth coat; today, it is bred in specialized farms.

[Photo: Gerard Lacz / NHPA]

285 Aerial photo of one of the five islands forming the Channel Islands Biosphere Reserve, USA. The island's plant cover has suffered from human pressure in the form of agriculture, stock raising, and many accidental fires.

[Photo: Stephen Krasemann / NHPA]

286 A pair of brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) in a mangrove swamp on the island of Anacapa in the Californian Channel Islands Reserve. This pelican, the only one of its genus which completely submerges itself when fishing, dives powerfully into the water when it spots a fish. Once it has caught its prey, it returns to the surface and empties the water from its mouth pouch and swallows its catch. Remarkably, the water taken up in its pouch weighs more than the bird itself. The brown pelican is the most common pelican and has a world population of over one million birds. Despite the fall in numbers in North America in the 1960s due to pesticide contamination, over 30,000 pairs still breed in the Gulf of California. A variety of different pelicans are found commonly in all mediterraneans: in South Africa, the white pelican (P. onocrotalus); in Australia, the Australian brown pelican (P. conspicillatus); in California, the North American white pelican (P. erythrorhynchos) and the P. occidentalis; and two species in the Mediterranean Basin, the white pelican (P. onocrotalus) and the Dalmatian pelican (P. crispus), the only species of Mediterranean pelican that is endangered.

[Photo: David S. Boyer / National Geographic Society]

287 Coastal vegetation with arum lilies (Zantedes-chia palustris) from the South African Mediterranean, in the San Francisco Bay, in the Central Coast Biosphere Reserve. The vegetation of the California coast Bios-phere Reserve is typically Mediterranean, although in some moister areas there are plants typical of swamps.

[Photo: James P. Blair / National Geographic Society]

288 The island of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco Bay, within the California Central Coast Biosphere Reserve. When the Spaniards reached the region, they occupied the island and called it the island of Los Alcatraces (Gannet Island). In 1851 it passed to the United States of America and was fortified, and a prison was built that was in operation until 1963, when it was closed because its usefulness did not compensate for the high maintenance cost.

[Photo: David S. Boyer / National Geographic Society]

289 Sports activities in the Golden Gate recreational area in San Francisco Bay, within the Central California Coast Biosphere Reserve. With the help of two other people, the pilot of this hang-glider is running towards the edge of a cliff, which has been reinforced with tree trunks on its edge to prevent erosion. To the right of the photo is the beach and the Pacific Ocean.

[Photo: James P. Blair / National Geographic Society]
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Publication:Encyclopedia of the Biosphere
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2000
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