Flora and fauna

Only a third of Spain's forest area, the domain of trees and shrubs. The forests are mostly found on the slopes of the mountains, being more abundant in the north and northwest. The most common species are the oak, in the lowlands, and pine in the mountains. The oak, which can be extracted cork every ten years, is also abundant and grows mainly in Extremadura and Girona. Along the rivers across the country grow poplars and olive cultivation is an important agricultural activity. Other notable species are elm, beech, oak, juniper, eucalyptus and chestnut. Shrubs and grasses are common natural vegetation in much of the country. In loose, sandy soils grow vines. Esparto, used for the manufacture of paper and other fiber products, grows naturally in dry areas of the south and southeast. On the Mediterranean coast sugarcane, oranges, lemons, fruit, figs and almonds are grown. Chestnuts are characteristic of humid regions and siliceous soils.

The Spanish wildlife, one of the most varied in Europe, includes species such as the wolf, bear, lynx, bobcat, fox, wild boar, ibex, deer and hares. Birds are abundant, with numerous species of raptors such as eagles, vultures, Egyptian vultures, ospreys, falcons, hawks, owls and other species such as cranes, bustards, flamingos, herons and ducks. Insects abound. In streams and mountain lakes are common fish such as catfish, tench and trout.

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