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Cork groves are woods that are dominated by the cork oak (Quercus suber). In the National Park such cork-oak woodlands result from the degradation of oak forest and emergence of the cork oak following fires; the cork oak being the more resistant to these. The cork bark is a very effective shield against fire. The cork oak has relatively small dendritic, furry leaves, with a thick protective covering to reduce the loss of water through transpiration.
Cork oaks are found in the hottest and driest parts of the Park. Other species that may be found in cork-oak woodlands are strawberry trees (Arbustus unedo), white heather (Erica arborea), flax-leaved daphne (Daphne gnidium) and golden oregano (Origanum virens). In terms of fauna the cork-oak woods differ little from the oak woods of the hottest and driest parts of the Park. We can find the squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) and the crested tit (Parus cristatus).
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