“It has been wonderful to see semi-wild horses grazing freely.”
Project Director Iberian Highlands
How would you characterise your rewilding landscape?
The Iberian Highlands is a vast forest landscape already protected by two large natural parks and many Natura 2000 sites. The area lies in the middle of the so-called ‘Empty Spain’, with very low human population density and depopulation. Rewilding, in combination with other strategies, can make a difference by offering new opportunities that help people to live from the local resources. These resources include a rich and ancient culture, expanses of native pine, juniper and oak forests, impressive cliffs and rocky areas, open arid areas, a diverse guild of wild herbivores, and the source of major rivers, including the Tagus which stretches for over 50km.
What have the major achievements been in your rewilding landscape to date?
The major achievements have undoubtedly been involving relevant stakeholders in our plans for the Rewilding Landscape, and explaining its value; partnering with a few early adopters to start activities in the area. We have educated people on the need for healthy ecosystems and communicated our sense of pride to work on new commitments to forge stronger connections between nature and the economy and society. It has been wonderful to see semi-wild horses grazing freely and Cinereous vultures soaring in the skies again, as well as implementing initial actions to attract bearded vultures to the area.