The Coig pine grove is located near the
city of Puerto de Santa María in Andalucía, Spain. It is
part of the "Parque Natural Bahia de Cadiz" (Bay of Cadiz Natural
Park), which encompasses three different ecosystems: beaches, marshes,
and pine groves.
These are public areas that are maintained by the municipality. They are
patrolled by the Forest Guard and trash is removed on a frequent basis.
Facilities include fenced boundaries, parking sites, camping sites, recreational
areas with exercise bars, picnic tables, barbecues, play grounds for children,
and informative displays.
The groves of this natural park have greatly diminished in size as they
have lost territory to agriculture and illegal land squatting. However,
according to the municipality, they currently encompass about two hundred
The most abundant trees are the Stone pine (Pinus pinea),
Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) and others, along with some cypresses and
a few isolated eucalyptuses. As for the fauna, the most valuable element
of this ecosystem is the chameleon, an endangered species. There are also
other reptiles, small mammals, and a great variety of birds.
Coig is a Stone pine grove, with rather spread and scant shrub zones,
the most common being the Bridal Broom (Retama monosperma), an endemic
species that is considered an invasive weed in the United States. There
are also two other woody plant species: Mediterranean Fan Palm (Chamaerops
humilis) and Asaparagus acutifolius. The pasture zone is made up of rather
From an ecological point of view, Coig is one of the most important public
groves in the area and, arguably, the best preserved. It was recently
included in an inventory of "Island Forests" of the Cádiz
country side made by the "Consejería del Medio Ambiente"
(Council for the Environment). This study defines "Island Forests"
as tree zones that have been isolated by agricultural activity to the
point of being reduced to small groves, and creek and roadside masses
spread throughout cultivated lands. These forest remains play an important
role in the ecological stability of the territory. They provide refuge
and passageways that are indispensable for the survival of many animal
species. Therefore it is important that they be preserved.
More information can be found by following these links:
Guía de Cádiz
Puerto de Santa María–Entorno
Puerto de Santa María–Official