LIFE CANADAS

Reconnecting spaces of the Natura 2000 Network with living sheeptrails

The importance of this heritage for the
conservation of biodiversity

Transhumance and Sheeptrails
THE TRANSHUMANCE AND THE CAÑADAS

The importance of this heritage for the conservation of biodiversity

THE GLENS

The cattle or livestock

The cattle or livestock (VVPP) are the traditional routes used by the herds in their seasonal dislocations. These movements can cover distances of several hundred kilometers (transhumance), where the herds take advantage of the peaks of productivity seasonal from different regions or altitudes, which allows for a type of livestock farming more efficient and sustainable.

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THE GLENS

The cañada real cuenca

The Cañada Real Cuenca is one of the ten canadas real core of the Iberian Peninsula, and one of the few that still has a livestock use to walk its entire length, both with sheep, such as bovine meat and of lydia. It has an area of 532 kilometres, crossing three regions and four provinces: Teruel (Aragon); Cuenca and Ciudad Real (Castilla-La Mancha); and Jaén (Andalusia).

The Cañada Real Cuenca assumes a study area ideal for the development of the LIFE project, GLENS, and home to a rich biodiversity, and also allows you to articulate an important network of protected areas of the Natura 2000 Network on a national scale. In particular, in the ecosystems associated with this pathway livestock, as well as the areas of scorched and wintering ranges, you can find a total of 79 species catalogued as endangered in the national legislation (7 plants, 2 invertebrates, and 70 vertebrates).

LIVESTOCK NETWORK

Livestock network of the Community of Madrid

The Network of Livestock Routes is, in its entirety, public land that remains under the management of the Community of Madrid. In accordance with the law 8/1998, the use of priority within the livestock routes is the transit of livestock. The law contemplates, in addition, other compatible uses (plantations, linear, displacement of agricultural machinery, etc) and complementary (travel recreational non-motorized, collection of fruits, etc).

The main network that make up the real cattle are supplemented with a secondary network composed by twine (45m width), sidewalks (25m) and lava flows (variable-width). This network is more closely linked to local movements of livestock shelf, and the seasonal movements at short distance of the cattle trasterminante, who took advantage of the pastures of a valley bottom in the winter and mountain pastures in summer.

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José A. González Nóvoa 7
THE TRANSHUMANCE

What is the transhumance ?

Transhumance is a form of livestock management extensive, consisting in the displacement of seasonal livestock between areas of high or higher latitude, designed to summer pastures, and low lying areas or in lower latitude, in which the cattle spend the winter, following regular routes established. In the mediterranean region, transhumance is a practice that is highly adaptive, since it facilitates the coupling between the activities of grazing and the seasonal peaks of productivity of pastures, thus allowing an optimal exploitation of the existing resources, as well as the possibility of avoiding the most critical periods: summer drought in the lowlands and snow winter in the mountain areas.

The historical importance of livestock farming in Spain and other countries of the Mediterranean basin explains that they have developed an extensive network of VVPP. The desirability of protecting the movements of the herds led to the beginning runners reserved for the cattle in almost all of the iberian peninsula. The VVPP were, therefore, free from the action of the plough, constituting reservoirs or semi-natural habitats that have remained in force since the FIFTEENTH century. In Spain, it is estimated that the network reaches more than 125,000 km in length, which represents an area of 421,000 ha, roughly 1% of the area of the country.

The importance of social, economic and environmental of the transhumance and the livestock routes led, in 1995, was created in Spain the so-called National Network of Livestock Routes (Law 3/1995 of 23 March), in which is incorporated “all the glens and those other livestock routes that ensure the continuity of the same, provided that your itinerary runs between two or more Communities
Autonomous and also the livestock that serve as a link for journeys to ranchers of character cross-border” (art. 18.1). This Law further recognizes that the livestock should be
considered “as true ecological corridors essential for the migration, the distribution
geographic and genetic exchange of wild species”.

  • Benefits:
    The model cattle of the transhumance associated with the use of the drovers roads is a clear example of co-evolution of a natural system and a social system.
  • This interaction between human being and nature has given rise to cultural landscapes sculpted over the centuries by the pastoralism transhumant pastoralism.
  • The transhumance cattle-associated livestock network constitutes an economic activity of enormous importance.
  • The transhumance and the livestock routes in a good state of conservation they generate in addition to multiple “ecosystem services” of great importance for human well-being.
  • In terms of cultural services, it is worth noting the value of the transhumance as cultural heritage and as a factor of tourism attraction.

The main network that make up the real cattle are supplemented with a secondary network composed by twine (45m width), sidewalks (25m) and lava flows (variable-width). This network is more closely linked to local movements of livestock shelf, and the seasonal movements at short distance of the cattle trasterminante, who took advantage of the pastures of a valley bottom in the winter and mountain pastures in summer.

The historical importance of livestock farming in Spain and other countries of the Mediterranean basin explains that they have developed an extensive network of VVPP. The desirability of protecting the movements of the herds led to the beginning runners reserved for the cattle in almost all of the iberian peninsula. The VVPP were, therefore, free from the action of the plough, constituting reservoirs or semi-natural habitats that have remained in force since the FIFTEENTH century. In Spain, it is estimated that the network reaches more than 125,000 km in length, which represents an area of 421,000 ha, roughly 1% of the area of the country.

The main network that make up the real cattle are supplemented with a secondary network composed by twine (45m width), sidewalks (25m) and lava flows (variable-width). This network is more closely linked to local movements of livestock shelf, and the seasonal movements at short distance of the cattle trasterminante, who took advantage of the pastures of a valley bottom in the winter and mountain pastures in summer.