Natura network 2000 is a European ecological network of biodiversity conservation areas. It consists of Special Areas of Conservation (Zec) established in accordance with the Habitats and Special Protection Areas for Birds Directive (SPA) designated under the Birds Directive.
Its purpose is to ensure the long-term survival of species and habitat types in Europe, helping to halt the loss of biodiversity. It is the main instrument for nature conservation in the European Union.
In the case of Sierra Norte de Madrid covers a large territory that also, overlaps with other protection figures such as the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park. The Natura Network 2000 in Sierra Norte includes:
The Alto Lozoya SPA is located in the term of Rascafría and constitutes the protected area Red Natura 2000 with the largest nesting population of black vulture in the entire Community of Madrid, close to 5% of the total Spanish population. In addition, includes valuable coniferous forest stands that are home to outstanding populations of forest birds of prey species, as a European beebaer, royal and black kites, European snake, booted Eagle, etc.
It includes 31 of the 42 municipalities of the Sierra Norte. It is an area of high and medium mountain, with significant altitudinal slopes. It is the best representation of quaternary glacierism of the Sierra de Guadarrama. Highlights the dominance of shrubs and grasslands of height and forest masses, in which we find the largest nesting population of black vulture (Aegypius monachus). It has a great richness and variety of species of flora, many of interest because they are listed or are endemic, as well as a great biological diversity.
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