Maliaño (EFE).- The Naturaleza y Hombre Foundation has managed to repopulate the European eel and reforest the forests in the Pasiega mountain, as well as improve the habitats and recover endangered species such as the black vulture or the black stork in the western Iberian Peninsula after two years of work.
During this time, this entity has carried out the “LIFE Priority Areas” project with the aim of recovering, conserving and managing wetlands, endangered species, habitats and forests in its main work areas: western Iberia (Salamanca , Cáceres and Portugal), the Bay of Santander and the Pasiega mountain.
The president of Fundación Naturaleza y Hombre, Carlos Sánchez, together with the representative of the European Commission, Manuel Montero, explained at a press conference that this “important” project began in September 2021 and ended on February 28 after get that European help to carry out this initiative and thus be able to apply the European green pact.
Among the results of the “LIFE Priority Areas” project, the foundation has managed to reinforce and increase the densities of some endangered species in western Iberia, such as the rabbit, as well as increasing the density of large eagles in this area.
The nesting of species with platforms for birds has focused mainly on the black stork and the black vulture, with supplementary feeding every week during the two years, which has allowed doubling the number of specimens on these platforms.
Likewise, thanks to this project, it has been possible to refine two development techniques for the conservation in captivity of the European eel and the stickleback fish.
Sánchez explained that the first work they carried out with the eel resulted in the mortality of this species, but after these two years working on these techniques they have managed to reduce this mortality to the “minimum expression”, which will allow release hundreds of eels from now on.
Fluviarium of Liérganes
Another species with which they are going to work from now on at the Fluviarium in Liérganes, but which has a “close” relationship with western Iberia, is the European pond turtle, a small tortoise that is becoming scarcer and suffers “a lot ” with the deterioration of their habitats and with the great droughts as a consequence of climate change.
Despite the fact that the Naturaleza y Hombre Foundation already has a reservoir of 200 specimens at the Campanarios de Azaba biological station (Salamanca), they are going to optimize the captive reproduction of this species in Cantabria due to the decline it is having in all places and achieve, in this way, form a network for the optimization of the European pond turtle.
“The expected results have been sufficient for the short period of time we have had”, stressed Sánchez, who pointed out that they will continue working to conserve and protect threatened species in their main work areas on the Iberian Peninsula.
The creation of ponds for amphibians in the Cantabrian Miera and Pas rivers, the repopulation of the European eel in the Pasiega mountain or the improvement of the trophic resources of threatened species in the Iberian west are activities that have been carried out with the “LIFE Areas Priority”.
Specifically, some 3,000 native trees have been planted distributed in the different areas of the Paseo mountain, which for centuries has suffered “historical deforestation” due to the various forest fires that have destroyed scrubland and grasslands in this area.
In addition, the Naturaleza y Hombre Foundation has had 1,500 people who have participated in this project through environmental nature conservation activities and who have been able to receive the LIFE message: “the same hand that destroys can help to recover”.