Document Type : European UNESCO Geoparks:Original Article


1 Courel Mountains UGGp. Spain

2 UMR 6266 IDEES, University of Rouen-Normandie/CNRS. Mont Saint-Aignan CEDEX, France.

3 Department of Marine Geoscience and Land Use Management, and Galician Paleontological Association, University of Vigo. Campus Universitario Lagoas Marcosende, 36310 Vigo, Spain

4 Geological Museum of Quiroga. Rúa do Caurel, 21, 27320 Quiroga, Spain.

5 Institute of Geosciences (CSIC, UCM), Dr. Severo Ochoa 7 - 4ª pl., 28040 Madrid, Spain

6 Higher Technical School of Mine Engineering, University of León. Campus de Vegazana, s/n, 24071 León, Spain.

7 Rural Development Group Ribeira Sacra-Courel, Rúa Doctor López Lallana 6, 1ºD, 27340 Bóveda, Spain


The Spanish Courel Mountains UNESCO Global Geopark has strong educational and touristic resources despite limited preservation of Paleozoic invertebrate fossil assemblages within metamorphic rocks. The paleontological sites are managed by means of their inventory and integration in a Geographical Information System, the construction of virtual 3D fossil models, the creation of a fossil collection exhibition, the transport of large boulders with fossils to places such as tourist offices, and hiking trails to see ichnofossils. To enable geoconservation, the Palaeozoic paleontological sites are neither promoted nor frequently visited. Fossils found in the Geopark by paleontologists and fortuitously by local people or hikers are deposited and safeguarded in the Geological Museum and are available for eventual exhibition and paleontological studies.