Rewilding Spain and La Maleza Wildlife Park partner to make nature a driver for development in Sierra de Albarracín

March 3, 2023

Ecosystem restoration is not only the way to achieve a healthier nature, but also a driver for the economic development of rural areas.

Both objectives are the focal points of Iberian Highlands rewilding landscape, which this week has been introduces to municipalities, entities and associations based in Sierra de Albarracin (Teruel province). The event, organized by Rewilding Spain with the collaboration of La Maleza Wildlife Park, took place at the Community House in Tramacastilla, and was presented by the mayor of the town, Clara Benito, and the president of the Community of Albarracin, Benito Lacasa.

Precisely,Sierra de Albarracín currently hosts an action that provides a good example of how t working in ecosystems restoration can contribute to create opportunities for the population.

A herd taurus was settled in a 500 hectares area covering Frias de Albarracin and Calomarde territory more than a year ago and their current 25 individuals are now perfectly adapted to this habitat, where natural grazing provides an ecological function that had ceased to be produced when livestock activities disappeared in the area.

Through grazing and trampling of these large herbivores, a rustic breed of cow that descends from the primitive aurochs, spaces are opened for other animal and plant species that need more light or a clearer place to grow. Taurus droppings also attract many insects and are useful for plants. In addition, by eating small shrubs and being able to metabolize woody matter, they reduce the amount of biomass present in the forest and help reduce the risk of wildfires.

The management of this herd of taurus is the first joint work of Rewilding Spain and La Maleza Park, which have signed a collaboration agreement so that rewilding actions such as this can continue to be developed and expanded. The objective is that, in addition to the benefit for nature, the herd of taurus also has a relevant role as a resource for raising awareness about the recovery of the natural environment, for environmental education and for attracting visitors interested in nature observation.

About Rewilding Spain and La Maleza Wildlife Park

The Spanish Rewilding Foundation (Rewilding Spain) is a non-profit organization created in 2020 with the main purpose of promoting the recovery of nature and wildlife in Spain. In collaboration with Rewilding Europe, it leads on the ground Iberian Highlands rewilding initiative, a long-term action plan that has been launched in a territory of 850,000  hectares that covers the regions of Castilla-La Mancha and Aragon. For the implementation of the initiative, it has the funding of  the Endangered Landscapes Programme and the Cartier Foundation for Nature.

La Maleza is a wildlife park of more than 23 hectares of land, whose facilities were created minimizing its impact and respecting the natural environment in  which it is located, the Pinares del Ródeno, in the municipality of Tramacastilla (Teruel). The park mainly hosts representative fauna of the Iberian System, which lives in semi-wild conditions in large enclosures that have provided a new opportunity to animals that had been previously rescued in precarious situations.

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