Restoration of priority habitats in the natural area ‘Laguna de El Hito’

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General information

With a surface area of 996 hectares, the Laguna de El Hito Nature Reserve is a natural space included in the European Natura 2000 network and considered a wetland of international importance by the Ramsar Convention of Unesco. It is home to an excellent representation of the saline steppe landscapes of the Mediterranean and has unique priority habitats and endangered species. 

The El Hito lagoon is also the second most important wintering area for cranes in Spain, and both the wetland and the surrounding saline areas and crops are of vital importance for numerous bird species.

Grazing, rain-fed cereal cultivation, uncontrolled dumping and small-scale drainage have destroyed or partly reduced their priority habitats.

With this project we aim to restore the natural values of the Laguna de El Hito Nature Reserve and halt the loss of biodiversity in this priority conservation area for Castilla-La Mancha and the European Union.

We anticipate the purchase of 47% of the Site of Community Interest (SCI), including 100% of the priority habitats for conservation, with the intention of halting the loss of biodiversity and implementing appropriate restoration, scientific monitoring and public use measures.

In the coming years, we will work with farmers and livestock farmers to promote sustainable practices in the area that will allow the marketing of quality organic products linked to biodiversity and the recovery of La Mancha steppes. 

A programme for the recovery and regeneration of priority habitats will be launched, including albardinales (characterised by the albardín, Lygeum spartum) or endemic species, such as the Limonium soboliferum, currently in danger of extinction.

The work will be carried out in collaboration with the local administrations of the region, in order to highlight the environmental relevance of the Laguna de El Hito area and its potential as an example of sustainable land management.

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