What does rewilding mean? Why are tauros important? The Rewilding Educa programme combines field visits and in-class activities about the role of tauros and other large herbivores in ecosystem restoration. Young people are the future of the planet and it is important that they know these answers.
Connecting children to the nature around them is not only beneficial for their healthy individual development. It also contributes to building a generation that is more aware of the planet’s environmental challenges, understands the importance of nature and is willing to commit to conservation and restoration.
To facilitate this awareness, Rewilding Spain has launched the Rewilding Educa campaign, which will help primary and secondary school students in the Molina-Alto Tajo and Sierra de Albarracín regions to learn more about the tauros herds that live in the Iberian Highlands, and to understand the important role that these large herbivores play in the ecosystem.
The programme has been launched in connection with the World Environmental Education Day. Fifty students from the rural schools in Alcolea del Pinar, Riba de Saelices and Maranchón villages, accompanied by their teachers, were the first visiting the herd of tauros that live in Mazarete (Guadalajara province). The programme is made up of a variety of activities that facilitate children’s learning, their participation in group activities, and also helps teachers translate concepts that are part of the academic curriculum.
Starring: the tauro
The starring species is the tauros, a breed of cattle that combines characteristics of the extinct aurochs, the wild cows that lived throughout Europe until their extinction in the 17th century and from which today’s domestic cattle are descended. The Iberian Highlands landscape is the privileged area where the first herds of tauros that arrived in Spain now live, one is located in Frías de Albarracín (Teruel province) and another in Mazarete (Guadalajara). Now, the youngest inhabitants of these territories have the opportunity to get to know them on the ground.
Rewilding Educa includes field trips to see the herds of tauros in their natural habitat, as well as in-class workshops in which these animals and the ecosystem are recreated using technological tools. All the participating schools will have the opportunity to take part in creativity competition and a final event will be held.
In addition to the tauros, children can also meet in Mazarete the Serrano horses, a native breed whose conservation is also being boosted by Rewilding Spain partnering with ARREA association.
In the Sierra de Albarracín region, the tauros share their habitat with Pottoka horses, a Basque-origin breed also living semi-freely in this area. Efforts to boost natural grazing in this area are made by Rewilding Spain in partnership with La Maleza Wildlife Park.
Through these activities, children and young people learn about rewilding and understand the importance of large herbivores such as the tauros in shaping the landscape, preventing fires, restoration of food chains, increasing biodiversity and creating opportunities for professional development in the area.
Partnering with Micorriza local association
Rewilding Spain is developing this education programme in partnership with Micorriza Association, a local organisation that brings together young professionals from the landscape and works for the conservation of its natural and cultural heritage. Micorriza technicians lead the students on the field trips and have created dynamic activities that help children understand processes such as wildfires, food chains and the importance of strengthening biodiversity.
Rewilding Educa is open to primary and secondary schools located in Molina-Alto Tajo and Sierra de Albarracín regions. Taking part in the programme is free for the schools and their students.