Reconnecting spaces of the Natura 2000 Network with living sheeptrails
Relevance of the project actions
Within the actions of the LIFE-Cañadas project aimed at describing its biodiversity, an article has just been published analyzing the potential that canyons can have for birds as refuges or corridors. The systematic sampling in the spring of 2020 of 19 sections of livestock roads in the Community of Madrid allowed the detection of a total of 51 species of birds, and to describe a predictable pattern of communities linked to gradients of the structure of the territory and anthropic pressure. . Thus, the ravines show communities that are richer in species in the vicinity of the protected areas of the Natura 2000 Network, in areas with more forest cover, and in the sections that have some tree cover. On the other hand, more birds were found in the sections of the canyon farthest from the roads, in more forested areas and with less bare soil. The most ubiquitous bird species in the glens, even under strong anthropic pressure, are the house sparrow, the magpie, the common cogujada and the black starling; and communities are enriched with species more typical of forests when conditions are somewhat better. This has made it possible to conclude that the glens play a small role as a reproductive refuge for birds in the center-west of the Community of Madrid, conditioned by their small surface area, but they can facilitate connectivity between populations and the movements of individuals between protected areas. . The results of this work also raise the question of what role livestock routes can play for birds in other agrarian landscapes characterized by the absence of forest patches.
Malo, J.E.; Mata, C. 2021.The Potential Role of Drove Roads as Connecting Corridors for Birds between Natura 2000 Sites. Birds 2, 314–328.