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Ponga Nature Park
Ponga (Eastern Asturias)
Area
255 km2
Maximum elevation
2.142 m. Ten Crag
Contact Address

Ponga Nature Park
Reception and
Interpretation Centre

33557 San Juan de Beleño

Phone 985 843 113
Website www.ponga.es/parque-natural

  • Ponga Nature Park is located in the central-eastern sector of the Cantabrian Mountains, with the entire territory of the park lying within the borough of Ponga.

    The main road links are the N-625 (Cangas de Onís-Riaño), which runs along the course of the River Sella, and the AS-261 (Puente de los Grazos-Beleño). In addition, other secondary roads and tracks link up many of the villages and upper reaches of the Ponga lower basin (River Ventaniella) and Mount Peloño.

  • Plant life

    Ponga Nature Park is characterized by its excellent state of preservation. Proof of this is the major area occupied by mature forests, comprising 37% of the territory, including various types of oak, birch, ash groves with maple, alder, and especially beech.

    Such is the ecological importance of Ponga's forests that Peloño Partial Nature Reserve, an extensive, continuous beech wood, can be found inside the park.

    These woodlands alternate with other formations such as meadows, pastures and moors abundant in broom, heather and gorse, a consequence of ancestral land use, making the landscape of Ponga singularly beautiful. There are also significant chestnut plantations, which are very striking, being concentrated in the central area of ​​the park, around the villages of Beleño, Abiegos and Taranes.

    Finally worth noting is the presence of numerous azonal populations of rupicolous species existing on the steep rocky slopes of Tiatordos Peak, an optimal habitat for these species, or high mountain species, relegated to the highest areas in the northeast of the park.

    The outstanding feature of the plantlife in the park is the presence of several species listed in the Catalogue of Threatened Flora of Asturias. Yew and holly grow in the woodland settings, the latter even forming small stands. The Asturian daffodil can also be found in the park, as well as gentian, both widely distributed throughout the region.

    Wildlife

    All the elements that make up the rich wildlife of the eastern-central mountains are represented in Ponga Nature Park. The good state of conservation of its habitats allows ​​the most emblematic species of the Cantabrian Mountains to be found in this area.

    Among the mammals, specimens of the brown bear, listed as an endangered species, can sporadically be spotted here, in addition to the typical species of the eastern Asturian mountains. The otter and muskrat are found in most of the rivers in this area, thus reflecting the good state of conservation of these ecosystems, given the strict ecological requirements of both species.

    In the broom and meadows abound the broom hare, though the European hare may also be spotted, finding in Ponga one of its last sanctuaries.

    Game species include deer, roe deer, Cantabrian chamois and wild boar.

    Ponga Nature Park has a rich and diverse birdlife. Among the most important species are the black woodpecker, the Cantabrian capercaillie and the middle spotted woodpecker, the latter two listed as species susceptible to habitat disturbance by the Regional Catalogue. This area is also home to many birds of prey, such as the golden eagle, the griffon vulture, the Egyptian vulture and the hawk. Species linked to high mountain habitats, such as the alpine sparrow and grey partridge, can be seen in the highest reaches of the borough.

A territory of complex relief and excellent state of preservation.

The most noteworthy of its mountain ranges comprises the sector of the Cantabrian Mountains forming its southern boundary, constituting the watershed between the basins of the Rivers Sella and Duero, home to peaks such as El Abedular (1,813 m), Les Pandes (1,879 m) and Ten Crag (2,142 m), among others. Ponga Ridge constitutes its western boundary, with noteworthy peaks such as Maciéndome (1,899 m) Tiatordos (1,951 m) and Campigüeños (1.838 m), among others.

The most important rivers in the borough are the River Sella, which runs through the eastern part of the territory to continue its course through Amieva, and the River Ponga, which runs from south to north through the borough. The local tributaries of the River Sella include Roabin Stream and the Rivers Mojizo, Porciles and Santa Bustia. The most important tributaries of the River Ponga are the Rivers Taranes and El Valle Moro. Most of these river valleys are narrow with sheer slopes, the most spectacular cases being those of Ponga Gorge and Beyos Gorge.

Ponga Nature Park boasts a broad range of environmental diversity, representative of the central-eastern mountains of Asturias, as well as very well conserved natural resources (geological, plant and animal).

From the geological point of view, the territory of Ponga Nature Park lies in the so-called "Ponga Unit", whose most prominent structural feature is the presence of a series of winding thrust faults resulting from the existence of folds lying perpendicular to them. There is also an important collection of faults that cut both sets of structures, some of them extending a considerable distance sideways, as occurs with the Ventaniella Fault which, due to the Alpine orogeny, has suffered a vertical displacement with elevation of the northeastern block, thus giving rise to Ponga Ridge.

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Ponga Nature Park
GPS:+43.1938484,-5.1640605