The General Directorate of Natural Environment, under the Spanish Department of Environment and Tourism, is embarking on an information and citizen participation initiative for the potential reintroduction of the Iberian lynx in Aragon. This pivotal step seeks to achieve consensus among various stakeholders invested in the restoration of this iconic species to the Aragonese fauna.
Suitable Geographical Areas in Aragón
Endorsed by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, the Alcubierre mountain range and the Huerva basin emerge as two geographically fitting locations for the Iberian lynx’s reintroduction.
Read about natural parks in Aragón here: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/natural-parks-in-aragon/
Proposal and Technical Analysis
Following a comprehensive technical analysis, the proposal identifies up to twelve areas encompassing at least 500,000 hectares in Aragon, meeting optimal parameters for the species. Key factors include a high density of rabbits and suitable habitat, notably in the middle valley of the Ebro.
The proposal suggests establishing two new populations through initial reintroduction efforts. The Alcubierre mountain range to the north of the Ebro (Los Monegros) and the Huerva basin to the south of the Ebro are envisioned as potential population centers.
Initiated in 2017 under the framework of LIFE LYNXCONNECT, the project addresses the surge in rabbit populations in the Ebro valley, a primary food source for the Iberian lynx. Co-financed by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, the project involves collaboration with TRAGSA and Nature Protection Agents.
Citizen Participation Process
With the endorsement of potential reintroduction areas, a year-long citizen participation process has commenced. This inclusive process aims to engage local stakeholders, including city councils, the Aragonese Hunting Federation, hunting reserve managers, farmers, and other community members.
Leveraging the experience of communities where reintroduction has succeeded, such as Andalusia, Castilla la Mancha, and Extremadura, Aragon aims to assess the compatibility of lynx presence with common human activities in the region.
Implication and Economic Boost
Recognizing the importance of collaboration and local involvement, the initiative holds information sessions and meetings to present the project, collect contributions, and make informed decisions. A successful reintroduction could bring economic and tourist benefits, contributing to biodiversity and ecosystem balance in Aragon.
Current Status of the Iberian Lynx
While the Iberian lynx population in Spain has reached 1,668 individuals, the species remains globally endangered. Aragon’s efforts position it as a pioneer in the potential recovery of this species in the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula.
Read more about the Iberian Lynx here: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/iberian-lynx-lynx-pardinus-lince-iberico/
This article has been translated to English from the original here: https://www.aragonhoy.es/medio-ambiente-turismo/comienza-proceso-informacion-participacion-ciudadana-posible-reintroduccion-lince-iberico-aragon-94021
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