Extensive livestock grazing in coastal wetlands to enhance marshland bird habitat

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Thanks to our successful experience in the Aquatic Warbler project (Life Paludicola) we can assure that the use of controlled livestock is a key tool in the management of vegetation, and that it also favours the habitat for numerous waterfowl and marshland birds.

The diversification of the landscape generated by the animals with the ingestion of vegetation in the wetlands, such as passageways, resting areas, among others, favours the appearance of clearings among the lush reed vegetation, in which waterfowl can land to rest and feed.

We will take advantage of the work of herbivores to improve and diversify the habitat in different wetlands:

- Pego-Oliva marsh: we will study the behaviour of cattle to find out the less accessible areas they frequent within the wetland using GPS technology.

- Marjal de La Safor: we will work with horses, placing mobile fences to introduce them and a sanitary chute for their control.

This work aims to reinforce the populations of moustached (Panurus biarmicus), a marshland bird that has disappeared from the Marjal dels Moros, as it is intended that, with the management of the vegetation and the introduction of livestock, these birds will have greater resources and will adapt to the wetland. This experience will be repeated in the Pego-Oliva Marshes with marsh buntings, another bird in danger of extinction in our wetlands.

The recovery of controlled livestock farming activity in coastal marshes, which leads to an increase in its activity, if the necessary services are recovered (drinking troughs, sheepfolds, livestock trails), would provide the opportunity to generate new jobs and maintain the current ones. We will start from the creation of a land stewardship network, i.e. agreements with livestock farmers to carry out joint actions that make use and conservation compatible.








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