The cattle of Doñana (139 individuals in four social groups in 1989) have lived under free-ranging conditions for centuries. Their ranging behaviour was analysed during a three-year period. A total of 17,603 locations corresponding to 247 different animals allowed both for the estimation of global and seasonal home ranges of individuals and social groups and for the comparison of movement patterns. Cattle ranging behaviour was not affected by human interference, and was shown to be regulated by a complex interaction of environment, individual and social factors. Habitat structure and seasonal fluctuations in abundance and distribution of resources determined general patterns of ranging behaviour: the greater the concentration of resources, the smaller the home ranges of individuals and social groups. These patterns were modified at an individual level by the sex of the animal and its reproductive status if male. Social influences on ranging behaviour were important because these implied the segregation of home ranges among dominant bulls and among social groups. As a result, there was a great variability in space use and home-range behaviour.