Castille and Leon, Spain
As climate change threatens their native habitats, brown bears have become a priority in conservation. In Spain’s region of Castille and Leon, SUPERB will enlarge wildlife corridors for these majestic, iconic animals by restoring degraded forests.
About the demo
Recurrent fires have turned shrublands, grasslands and open forests inappropriate for brown bear dispersion from breeding sites. Forest fires are becoming more frequent due, in parts, to a lack of forest management caused by increasing rural depopulation. Adding to the problem, a nearby highway creates a barrier to bear migration towards the west, in the direction of Galicia and Portugal.
In these areas, SUPERB will plant mixed forests with species suitable for bear feeding, restore low quality oak forests and contribute to rural development with chestnut plantations. One of our challenges will be implementing cost-effective restoration in a large area of up to 5.000 ha.
Promoting natural regeneration
Habitat restoration for specific species
Enhancing forest connectivity
Enhancing structural diversity
Tree species diversification
Type of restoration:
We will be planting climate-adapted, mixed species to create regeneration-prone forest patches and enlarge brown bear corridors. We will also restore low quality oak forests through tree thinning treatments to improve brown bear habitats. In addition, we will integrate productive chestnut plantations into the landscape and engage rural populations in restoration activities.
How the demo is now:
We have open and degraded forests of Quercus pyrenaica. Recurrent fires and rural abandonment are the main constraints at the landscape level, as well as the A6 motorway as a barrier for bear migration.
While we will enhance biodiversity through wildlife corridors, chestnut plantations and roundwood production will serve as economic pillars for rural development.
Restoration upscaling potential (within and beyond SUPERB):
Long-term restoration of 5.000 ha will happen through the upscaling of activities implemented initially in 205 ha within SUPERB.
The SUPERB Spanish demo took center stage at the IUFRO Forest Environment DIV 8 Conference 2023 in Évora, Portugal, showcasing its tailor-made approach for addressing three challenges at once: land…