New opportunities for ecotourism in Molina-Alto Tajo region thanks to rewilding with horses and tauros

September 8, 2023

Over 150 people living in the small villages located nearby Mazarete and Villanueva de Alcorón rewilding areas have visited the Serrano horses, tauros and Przewalski’s horses herds and got to know the relevant role these large herbivores are playing for the ecosystem restoration.

All the visitors were briefed about rewilding and the actions taking place in the area

Local inhabitants of eight villages located in the region of Molina de Aragón-Alto Tajo, within the Iberian Highlands rewilding landscape, have been the first to know the guided routes that will soon allow nature tourism fans to visit the herd of semi-wild Serrano horses and tauros that live in Dehesa de Solanillos mount (Mazarete, Guadalajara) and the herd of Przewalski’s horses, the last remaining wild horse species, that inhabit the public forest of Villanueva de Alcorón. More than 150 people took part in these tours.

Rewilding Spain organised these visits in late August with the collaboration of the City Councils of Mazarete, Olmeda de Cobeza, Ciruelos del Pinar, Luzón, Ablanque, Tobillos, Cobeta and Villanueva de Alcorón, and also the support of some local associations.

Tauro in Dehesa de Solanillos

The objective was to facilitate that those who live in these villages know first-hand the relevant ecological function of these large herbivores to support wildfire prevention, forest regeneration and increased biodiversity. In addition, the presence of these animals is a great tool for environmental education and a powerful claim for ecotourism lovers, and can boost new business and employment opportunities in the area.

In fact, Rewilding Spain is already partnering with some ecotourism companies in the area that plan to add these guided tours to their commercial portfolio, so visitors can have a close experience with horses and tauros. This might promote the growth of their businesses and attract nature lovers committed to wildlife and nature comeback.

“This partnership opportunity is open to every nature tourism companies in the area that share the principles of rewilding and want to contribute to the development of responsible tourism in the region. The presence of these animals in the area is a great opportunity for nature and also for the people who live here,” states Basilio Rodríguez, Enterprise Officer at Rewilding Spain.

A herd of 13 specimens of semiwild Serrano horses -an endangered native breed- and a herd of ten tauros, a rustic breed that gathers the features and behaviour of the extinct wild aurochs, are currently living in Dehesa de Solanillos mountain.

As well, a herd of nine wild Przewalski’s horses live in Villanueva de Alcorón public mount.

Przewalski’s horses in Villanueva de Alcorón

Natural grazing from these large herbivores helps the forest to grow more open, allowing other species of plants and animals that need more light or an open place to thrive. This will create a mixed forest with alternating areas of different plant density and higher biodiversity.

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