Spain - Flora and fauna





Because of its wide variety of climate, Spain has a greater variety of natural vegetation than any other European country; some 8,000 species are cataloged. Nevertheless, vegetation is generally sparse. In the humid areas of the north there are deciduous trees (including oak, chestnut, elm, beech, and poplar), as well as varieties of pine. Pine, juniper, and other evergreens, particularly the ilex and cork oak, and drought-resistant shrubs predominate in the dry southern region. Much of the Meseta and of Andalucía has steppe vegetation. The Canaries, named for the wild dogs ( canariae insulae ) once found there, support both Mediterranean and African flora. A small, yellow-tinged finch on the islands has given the name "canary" to a variety of yellow songbirds widely bred as house pets. Animal life in Spain is limited by the pressure of population and few wild species remain.

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