Donana is a privileged and unique place due to its ‘strategic’ geographical location. Its physical, biological, ecological, and habitat composition is influenced by its position in the map.

The coastal location of Doñana on the Atlantic Ocean and the mouth of the Guadalquivir River creates a series of aquatic ecosystems. Some of these are coastal lagoons, which are fundamental for wildlife and biodiversity in the region. Furthermore, the interaction between fresh and saltwater in these areas contributes to the formation of unique habitats.

The confluence of the Guadalquivir River with the Atlantic Ocean creates a mosaic of ecosystems, from freshwater marshes to coastal dunes. This interaction of different habitat types favors biological diversity and promotes a complex network of ecological interactions.

Doñana has a Mediterranean climate, characterized by dry and hot summers and mild and humid winters. This seasonal variation in climatic conditions influences the diversity of habitats present in the area, such as marshes, dunes, and forests, and determines which types of species can survive and thrive in the region. It is also very close to the Strait of Gibraltar and, therefore, the Mediterranean waters. In this sense, Doñana is situated between both seas: the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, in the ‘East-West axis.’

On the other hand, it serves as a connection between Europe and Africa, that is, the ‘North-South axis.’ A warm continent and a cold continent. Doñana’s strategic location between both continents makes it a key point in the migratory bird route. Millions of migratory birds use Doñana as a resting and feeding area during their seasonal journeys. This contributes to the spectacular diversity of birds found in the area.

All these factors give Doñana its most distinctive characteristic compared to other natural spaces: the great diversity of ecosystems and habitats.

This initial framing and presentation of Doñana are part of what we teach in our Environmental Education Programs.

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