Geoparque Unesco

Geology, Flora & Fauna

SOBRARBE GEOPARK TRAINING COURSES: GEOLOGY, FLORA & FAUNA

One of the crucial guidelines in order to develop our Geopark is popularizing the values of the territory among our inhabitants and people working in contact with our visitors. With this goal, the first courses on “Sobrarbe Natural Heritage” were held in November 2008.

Courses were divided into two different levels (1st level and 2nd level) each of them consisting of 26 hours. Courses, with practical bias, were held in the Geovision Room in the north-eastern tower of the Aínsa Castle and on the field. Each course was finished with a guided tour. They were held on the afternoon from Monday to Friday, and the guided tour was held on Saturday.

Attendants were mainly tourism-related workers, though workers related with other kind of activities, concerned by environmental matters, also attended the courses, besides Sobrarbe inhabitants who wanted to learn more about nature. The number of inscriptions was limited, in order to enable interaction in the group. Both levels were held twice, since courses sparked a large public’s interest.

The company Geosei S.C.P. was in charge of the working materials and the geology teaching, meanwhile the Foundation for the Bearded Vulture Preservation was in charge of the flora and fauna-related contents.

h2>Basic Course

Geology-related contents were divided into 5 units:

  • The Sobrarbe Geopark, the European Geoparks Network and the UNESCO Global Geopark Network.
    Summary of the background leading us to the application as a Geopark Network member and first steps of our Geopark in the Global and European Networks, rights and duties involved in the Global and European Network Membership.
  • Geological Heritage in Sobrarbe.
    The course deals with the most representative examples in order to understand Basic elements in our geological environment: geological landscapes, mining heritage, Pyrenean tectonics, karstic caves, sedimentary rocks, fossils, Glaciation marks, etc.
  • Interpretation Tools.
    Geology is just an abstract content if we can not observe concrete and close examples. Currently, the different infrastructures in the Geopark provide us with maps, images, outlines, texts and audiovisual tools which help us in order to interpret the geodiversity in our county.
  • The Landscape as a Doorway into the Past.
    In our Geopark, it is difficult to avoid geology as the main element in our landscape. Access to geological phenomena can often be easy, though they can reveal very complex processes.
  • Introduction to the Geological History in Sobrarbe as a tool to foresee its future.
    Science enables us to foresee some future aspects. Thanks to the scientific method applied to geology, we can have information about our past in order to make decisions about our future. For instance, from the past climate study – providing very interesting data from the caves of karstic massifs – we can understand better current climatic changes.

Flora-related contents:

  • Concepts about Flora and Plants.
    Introduction to the basic terminology and its usage in this course.
    Booklist and Internet Resources. Though we can find a large number of materials for beginners, it is not always easy to find those books which better match our interests. Regarding some basic rules, we enable access to useful and contrasted information.
  • Types of Plants. Life Development Strategies.
    From fungus to lichens, which are not pants, to superior plants, we review main groups, as well as their strategies in order to face their needs as living beings: feeding, reproduction, how to survive to adverse seasons, etc.
  • Plants-Environment Relationship.
    We deal with the main factors (abiotic and biotic) affecting plants distribution: climate, substrate, orientation, height, etc. We discuss the specific case of the bioclimatic stages in Sobrarbe.
  • Main Plants Units in Sobrarbe (I).
    From red pine forests in the mountains to beech and fir mixed forests on the shady sides, we deal with some characteristic plant communities in our territory.

Fauna-related contents:

  • Vertebrate Fauna Concepts.
    We review some basic concepts for this course: ecosystem, biodiversity, habitat, species, bioindicator, etc.
  • Booklist and Internet Resources.
    We provide attendants with basic criteria to access useful Internet resources, as well as with key concepts in order to use identification guides and vertebrate atlas.
    Vertebrate Groups. Life Development Strategies. We introduce some criteria for the identification of the main vertebrate groups: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, as well as their appearance in the history of our Planet.
  • Pyrenean Fauna Origin.
    The origin of the current biodiversity in our territory is found several million years ago, and we have to take into account some factors, such as the Mediterranean Sea drying up and the Quaternary Glaciations.
  • Pyrenean Ecosystems (I).
    In our territory, we can easily identify several types of mammals and birds characteristic of the different Ecosystems in Sobrarbe: ilex, oak, pine forests etc., besides water and rocky environments.
  • Interpretation of fauna-related aspects (I).
    A first approach in order to learn more about the causes of threaten fauna: the Brown Bear and the Bearded Vulture.

Clase teorica sobre la Fauna

The guided tour for the Basic Course visited the Escuain Viewpoints, at the entrance to the National Park.

Observando la fauna

Observando las rocas

Foto de familia de los participantes al curso

Foto de familia de los participantes al curso

Advanced Course/h2>

Geology-related Contents:

  • South-central Pyrenean Eocene Basin.
    This is the aspect drawing more attention from geologist world-wide. During the Eocene epoch, several sedimentary environments took place in this area of the Geopark; some of them are very well preserved: turbidites from deep marine environments, the Sobrarbe Delta, conglomerates from alluvial and fluvial origin in the southern area of Sobrarbe.
  • Current Landscapes Formation.
    Some of the most typical landscapes in Sobrarbe were formed by geological processes easy to recognize: glacial landforms, periglacial, karstic, etc.

Clase teorica

Flora-related contents:

  • Main Plant Units in Sobrarbe (II).
    We study in depth the identification of plants in ilex, oak and pine forests... We also make a special mention to high mountain and water environments.
  • Tours around the Areas with Flora of Special Interest.
    Sobrarbe tracks network allows access to the different plant units, offering tours for every kind of public.

Fauna-related contents:

  • Pyrenean Ecosystems (II).
    We study in depth the identification of vertebrates typical in every ecosystem, from meadows and black pine forests in the southern Sobrarbe to ilex, oak and pine forests in the Old Sobrarbe.
  • Areas with Fauna of Special Interest in Sobrarbe.
  • Interpretation of the aspects of the Fauna (II).
    A global view over the most typical threatened species: the Brown Beard and the Bearded Vulture.

The guided tour for the Advanced Course visited the Old Sobrarbe, following the track along the road from Guaso to Eripol.

Explicando la geología

Foto de familia de los asistentes al curso

Foto de familia de los asistentes al curso

El frio y el mal tiempo no impidieron la salida

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