July 24, 2021

The Iberian West will reach 40,000 hectares of Natural Reserves in 2020

The Iberian West will reach 40,000 hectares of Natural Reserves in 2020



The Nature and Man Foundation (FNYH) will complete in 2020 a Network of Natural Reserves of the Iberian West hispanosouso of 40,000 hectares with several cross-border areas: Azaba-Malcata, Faia Brava and Sierra de Gata, Monfragüe and Canchos de Ramiro-Tejo International.

The objective, as advanced today to Efe Carlos Sanchez, president of the Nature and Man Foundation, entity that operates in Spain and Portugal, is to continue the work developed in the last 15 years to combine the activity of man and the preservation of threatened species in the habitat of the dehesa.

So that the agrarian, livestock and hunting activities are compatible with the preservation of threatened animals such as the black stork or the Iberian lynx, the Nature and Man Foundation has launched a series of strategies that, after more than a decade, have achieved rejuvenate the pasture and minimize environmental problems.

"A clear example has been the expansion of the black vulture throughout the Iberian West," said Sanchez, who explained that the animal has nested in dozens of platforms installed in the hispanic Raya of Extremadura, Castilla y León and the Portuguese Central Region.

In the last fifteen years, both in private areas and in areas acquired by the foundation, the Foundation has invested just over 8 million for the preservation of the Iberian West.

One of the keys was the implementation of the project "Custody of the Territory" through which the FNYH has reached agreements with owners of Spanish and Portuguese dehesas to develop awareness actions.

The large number of agreements has made it possible to date have already intervened in 20,000 hectares of the Iberian West and three biological reserves have been created next to the border: Campanarios de Azaba (600 hectares), Riscos del Águeda (400 hectares) and one in the Sierra de Gata (800 hectares).

The work carried out by the FNHY has been recognized with the prize for biodiversity conservation of the BBVA Foundation, worth 250,000 euros, which was granted on 2 November and which "recognizes our 15-year trajectory," Sánchez said.

Now, the challenge of the Nature and Man Foundation to advance in the valorisation of the Iberian West will be to connect all the Spanish-speaking territories in which it has acted "to promote the ecological connection and sustainable management".

The cleaning of the dehesa forest in order to eliminate the thicket through the incorporation of herbivores is part of some of the medium-term measures for the prevention of forest fires.

The actions that have improved the habitat of the most threatened flora and fauna of the pasture have allowed to recover many lagoons of the Iberian West and, consequently, improve "the quality of life of its flora and the amphibians of the ponds".

This is the case of the European pond turtle, which was in clear decline in the Iberian West and that "we have managed to recover," he added.

The newborn specimens of European pond turtles were prey to the animals that roam the pasture, especially of the Iberian pigs, reason why the population of these species could not be rejuvenated, explained Sanchez.

To this day, the Biological Reserve of Campanarios de Azaba, in the border area of ​​Salamanca with Portugal, has become a reception center for visitors who come to know how this dehesa environment has been created under the seal of "cero emissions ", since all the energy they use comes from photovoltaic panels.

By Carlos García

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