Spanish Pyrenees & Steppes of Huesca--Spain

By Dirk Hilbers & Kees Woutersen
February 2012
Crossbill Guides Foundation
Distributed by the Trans-Atlantic Publications
ISBN: 9789050113823
255 Pages
$49.50 Paper original

Like a giant, natural wall the Pyrenees separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe. Snow-capped peaks of well over 3,000 metres block cool moist air from the north, leaving the Iberian hinterland dry and hot. The climatic differences between the Spanish Pyrenees and their foothills are amongst the most dramatic of Europe. This region is wild and has an extremely diverse flora and fauna. Huesca (Spain) is the northern, and most diverse, of Aragon's three provinces. It covers both the wild High Pyrenees, their wooded foothills and the steppes in the basin of the Ebro. There are few areas in Europe with such a diversity of landscapes and of flora and fauna. From the alpine heights of Ordesa to dry semi-desert of Belchite, this guidebooks shows you the best sites and reveals their flora and fauna.

The geology and local land-use history is fully described in the opening chapters, explaining how the special habitats arose, and how they are all important to the special fauna and flora of the region. The guide covers the wildflowers, birds and all other wildlife routes, where-to-watch-birds information and other observation tips. 21 routes are fully described and mapped, with many adjacent locations identified. This Crossbill Guide to the natural history of the Spanish Pyrenees is not only the 11th in this most popular series, but is arguably one of the best descriptions to this very special part of the European continent. With much of Europe under tremendous development pressure, it is refreshing to know that places of such outstanding natural beauty are still on our doorstep and immediately accessible. Dirk Hilbers description of the habitats and wildlife of this exceptional area ranks amongst the best natural history writing one might find anywhere and his passion and commitment to encouraging travelers to explore such regions comes across well, as does his hope that such sensitive tourism will serve the long-term aim of conserving and cherishing such natural remnants as the Pyrenees for future generations.


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