If we look at the landscape we notice that there is a beautiful panorama, however, we also appreciate that the whole territory of El Campo de Cartagena, being a plain, has been altered by human hand with: crops, roads, tourist complexes, industrial estates, urbanizations, etc. Fortunately, El Cabezo Gordo has become a safe place for dozens of animal and plant species that have become extinct elsewhere. For this reason, it is classified as a Wildlife Area.
The following species can be highlighted:
It is the largest lizard in the Iberian Peninsula, with a length of up to 75 cm. Its tail is twice as long as the rest of its body. It has a large head and a powerful jaw. Its body is very robust, coloured in yellowish green and adorned with blue ocelli (eyes). Its extremities are well developed, and it lives among the rocks of El Cabezo Gordo.
They are the most representative group of animals, due to their variety and colourfulness, and also because they are easy to see. There are more than 70 different species: some of them stay all year round and others are migratory, using el Cabezo Gordo as a place of passage and rest where they find water, food and shelter.
The krestel is the most abundant bird of prey that can "hover", i.e. to be suspended in the air to locate its prey. It looks like a small hawk of about 35 cm with spotted plumage. It has powerful eyesight and feeds on insects, mice and small reptiles.
There is also a jackdaw the size of a dove, with dark plumage and from the crows family. It is a very sociable bird and can be seen in large flocks on the rocks. They place their nests in cavities that they fill with sticks, upholstering the inside with sheep's hair, threads and other fibres.
Other species are the owl, the turtle dove or the Eurasian crag martin (which nests in the rocks).
As for mammals, there are foxes, although climate change is affecting them more and more and reducing the number of specimens. Rabbits and hares are also common, as is usual in the Campo de Cartagena.
In Cabezo Gordo there are many natural cavities such as La Sima de las Palomas of karstic origin, but the vast majority were excavated over 100 years ago. At the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, miners extracted iron, magnetite and calcite mainly from El Cabezo Gordo and drilled it, giving rise to numerous wells and galleries. During the Spanish Civil War, these cavities were used as a refuge for the population from the bombardments of the planes and as powder magazines to store the war material.
To extract the mineral, the rock was perforated with drills and then dynamite cartridges were introduced to execute the blasting.
One of the most surprising caves is the Cueva del Champiñón, a gallery of more than 300 m that crosses the mountain from South to North. After the abandonment of mining, the humidity of some galleries was used to grow mushrooms (champiñones), as was the case with this tunnel in the 70s.
Remains of Neanderthal man from approximately 50,000 years ago were found at La Sima de las Palomas Paleoanthropological Site.
How to Arrive?
In Torre Pacheco
- Costa Cálida Región de Murcia