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blog by: El Paraje
Berchules, Granada, Spain

9 August 2010

Borreguiles de Sierra Nevada

One of the habitats of the highest vegetation zones of the Sierra Nevada is locally known as ´borreguiles´.  These are wet pastures that can be found above 2,000 metres in the oro- and crioromediterranean levels. These grassy areas can be found near rivers, gullies or tarns and have the ability to accumulate agua. Some areas have a more or less constant humidity, and in others it might vary. Peat bogs, where the ground is permanently waterlogged by still water are scarce, but do exist. The ´borreguiles´ hold a large biodiversity of plants and about thirty-five percent of them are endemic species. This explains why these areas have always attracted botanists and nature lovers. Visitors of the high mountains that are interested in flora, will be suprised when they start exploring the green oases in a seemingly barren, dry landscape. ´Borrego´ means lamb in Spanish and explains the name given to the soft, grassy areas. Unfortunately the delicate balance of the ´borreguiles´ is seriously threatened by overgrazing, the change of water courses and tourism. On the on-line magazine Waste an excellent article ´Borreguiles de Sierra Nevada´ can be found with a list of fifty plants that inhabit these sites.

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