Flora in El Torcal de Antequera Nature Reserve
The tree population in El Torcal de Antequera is relatively scant, due partly to the geology of the Nature Reserve, but also due to human intervention that cut down species either for utensils or to open up new land for grazing. The latter reason is why most trees are in fairly inaccessible sites, difficult for animals to enter. The most common of remaining tree species are the holm and the gall oaks.
The lack of top soil and profusion of rock forms has favoured other types of vegetation, with a wide variety of hardy bush-type species as well as a number of rock-based lichens and mosses.
Fauna in El Torcal de Antequera Nature Reserve
The once abundant wildlife in the area has been dramatically reduced through hunting, grazing and agriculture use over the centuries, with the remains of wolves, Iberian lynxes and even bears having been found in caves within the present day Nature Reserve.
For this reason, the largest of the 22 species of mammal registered is the protected mountain goat. Small carnivores are relatively abundant: the wild cat, genet, pine marten, weasel, fox and badger are all present, their prey made up of moles, shrews, mice and occasionally rabbits.
Bird species number 82, outstanding amongst which are birds of prey, of the nocturnal variety (eagle owl, barn owl, tawny owl, little owl and scops owl) as well as daytime species such as the kestrel and the falcon, or the rarer golden eagle or Bonelli’s eagle. Far more common are thrushes and partridges, the rufous tailed rock thrush, the wallcreeper and the alpine accentor.
The 11 types of reptile are based on lizards and snakes, who flourish within the cracks of the rocks and basking on the warm stone surfaces.