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These grasslands are mingled with plantations of eucalyptus and native oak.
The southern part of Cantabria, including the comarca of Campoo the fringes of the Castilian plateau, is characterized by the transition to drier vegetation.
The rivers of Cantabria are short and rapid, descending steeply because the sea is so close to their source in the Cantabrian Mountains.
They flow perpendicular to the coastline, except for the Ebro.
The great limestone masses of Picos de Europa also stand out in the southwest of the region: most of their summits exceed 2,500 m, and their topography is shaped by the former presence of glaciers.
Due to the gulf stream, Cantabria, as well as the rest of "Green Spain", has a much more temperate climate than might be expected for its latitude, which is comparable to that of Oregon.
Another diversifying factor which contributes to local variation within the region is the Mediterranean ecotone, giving rise to species unique to the region, such as the Holm Oak and arbutus trees, which are found in poor limestone soils with little moisture.
Cantabria has vegetation typical of the Atlantic side of the Iberian Peninsula.
The region has a humid oceanic climate, with warm summers and mild winters.
Annual precipitation is around 1,200 mm at the coasts and higher in the mountains. Snow is frequent in higher zones of Cantabria between the months of October and March.
This provoked a surge of eucalyptus - see Eucalyptus article on Spanish Wikipedia - plantations (and to a less extent of Pines) which often hid the illegal destruction of native forests, just as the spread of livestock farming had done in the past by the endemic conversion of forest into prairie.
This acts have been laxly controlled by the local councils or the central governments, in a process that clearly follows the saying: "Pan para hoy, hambre para mañana" (which translates as: "short-term gain, long-term pain").