Useful links about Doņana


Doņana can be a confusing place for new arrivals, but a lot of very useful information is on the web (much of it only available in Spanish). The modern meaning of “Doņana” usually applies to the area of marshes found in the delta of the Guadalquivir river, but most of those marshes have been drained or turned into ricefields over the past century.


Most of what is left is protected within Doņana National Park (54,000 ha) and Doņana Natural Park (53,835 ha), both now administered by the Andalusian government. Most of Doņana is also protected as a World Heritage site and Ramsar site. Another protected area, the Brazo del Este Natural Landscape (1,653 ha) is also found within the delta. Many of the best bird-watching areas are only accessible with a good book and a hired car or guide. July to September are the worst months to visit Doņana. The main visitor centres for the National Park are well sign-posted from the El Rocío-Matalascaņas road. The José Antonio Valverde visitor centre is excellent for bird-watching but is rather isolated and receives few visitors. The route to get there includes many kilometres of dirt tracks, but is sign-posted on the main road southwards from Puebla del Río. Excellent bird-watching is also available at Veta la Palma with the Natural Park, as well as at the Brazo del Este.


Part of the National Park itself is protected as a Biological Reserve, which is administered principally by the Doņana Biological Station (CSIC, under the Ministry of Science and Technology). The station is responsible for the monitoring programme within the park, for national bird ringing/banding programmes and for coordinating research activity in the Doņana area. Anyone wishing to carry out research in Doņana should contact the station’s office for research coordination.


Following the well known spill of toxic mine waste from Aznalcollár in April 1998, the area of the Guadiamar River that was directly affected was turned into a Green Corridor. Furthermore, the concern for the future of Doņana following the disaster led to a broader restoration project in the area of the remaining marshes, the Doņana 2005 project.


A great deal of information about Doņana is available in English in the following book online: Doņana, Water and Biosphere.



Andy Green. June 2008.