To the south of Ciudad Real and close to the northern foothills of the Sierra Morena mountain range, the 2,260-hectare Peñalajo estate is a wildlife-rich mosaic of Mediterranean scrub and forest. It was once the meeting place for members of the European aristocracy and in more recent times a producer of Manchego cheese and olive oil. The estate now works closely alongside the conservation organisation WWF to help the endangered Iberian lynx increase in number and the estate is now a prime breeding location for this rare feline.
Key predators of the rabbit, the Iberian lynx and the Spanish imperial eagle are now thriving because of concerted habitat restoration and conservation of the native rabbit population. Several specially designed hides have been constructed around the estate which offer excellent opportunities to view and photograph the lynx and the diverse Mediterranean and steppe birdlife, especially at drinking pools.
Birds include the endemic Iberian azure-winged magpie, little bustard, pin-tailed and black-bellied sandgrouse, hoopoe, little owl, hawfinch and migratory (May-August) rollers, great spotted cuckoo, bee eaters and many warblers.