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Justification for our participation in the TRINO project

In Valle del Tiétar, the differences in altitude between the peaks and the depths of the valley, which determine the kinds of flora and fauna that live there, have created a number of different biotopes that are home to a great wealth of plant and animal life. Of the five bioclimatic zones in the Mediterranean Phytosociological Region, four of them are represented in this area.


The lowest parts of the valley, up to an elevation of 800 m, represent the meso-Mediterranean zone. The black stork (Ciconia nigra), an endangered species, can be found here during mating season. A wide variety of forest birds of prey also inhabit this space; these include the booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus), short-toed snake eagle, (Circaetus gallicus), black kite (Milvus migrans), red kite (Milvus milvus), and Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus). Other abundant species are the magpies (Pica pica), jays (Garrulus glandarius) and other birds that take advantage of the rich forestry of the valley. Additonally, reptiles such as the ocellated lizard (Timon lepidus) and the red-tailed spiny-footed lizard (Acanthodactylus eruthrurus) are also abundant.


The mountainside, up to an elevation of 1,600 m, represents the supra-Mediterranean zone. With respect to the animal life found in this zone, we find a wealth of bird life that includes booted eagles (Hieraaetus pennatus), short-toed snake eagles (Circaetus gallicus), buzzards (Buteo buteo), northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis), great spotted woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major), European green woodpeckers (Picus viridis), jays (Garrulus glandarius), great tits (Parus major), nuthatches (Sitta europaea), blue tits (Parus caeruleus), etc…Of the mammals that are present we should mention the following: the wild boar (Sus scrofa), fox (Vulpes vulpes), beech marten (Martes foina), deer (Capreolus pygargus), and the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus).


 The high parts of the valley make up the third bioclimatic zone which reaches an elevation of up to 2,200 m, in the oro-Mediterranean stage where temperatures are lower than in previous zones (4-8ºC).


The fauna that we find in this zone includes the Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica) and the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), in addition to griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) and black vultures (Aegypus monachus), as well as Iberian rock lizards (Iberolacerta monticola) and Iberian wall lizards (Podarcis hispánica).


NATURA 2000 ECOLOGY NETWORK

Three natural areas that make up part of the European Union’s so-called Natura 2000 ecology network converge in the Valle del Tiétar Region:


- The Sierra de Gredos, which includes 24.31% of the region’s surface area. Of all land covered by the Sierra de Gredos, 32.60% is located in the region. This area is completely contained inside the Ávila Province. This area is home to numerous endemic ecological resources and a perfectly-preserved series of high mountainous habitats that contain highly important plant species. In this natural area, which has also been designated a Regional Park (Law 3/1996 of 20 June), one of Castilla y León’s twelve most important areas for Spanish reptile life can be found. With respect to bird life, the population of black vultures (Aegypus monachus) is especially noteworthy.


 - The Valle del Tiétar covers more than 55% of the region’s surface and is 99% contained within the region. This natural area represents one of the best preserved and most spectacular settings in all of Castilla y León. Despite the enormous pressure from tourists that this valley must withstand, its resources in terms of fauna are still numerous.


With respect to bird life, the mating populations of the black vulture (Aegypus monachus) and the black stork (Ciconia nigra) are particularly noteworthy.


 - The Cerro de Guisando is located in just one municipality (Navahondilla) and covers 1.22% of the region’s area, while 38.92% of the Cerro de Guisando’s surface area is found inside the region. It is a small area located in the far eastern part of the Sierra de Gredos and its elevation exceeds 1,600 m. It also contains a notable black vulture population.


Altogether, the Natura 2000 ecology network areas include a total of 93,827.23 ha, which covers 81% of the region’s territory and around 30% of that of the Ávila Province.


Just as in most of Castilla y León’s other natural areas, those that have been designated ZEPAs (Special Protection Areas for Birds, from the Spanish acronym) also contain habitats and other species that are of interest to the community, which is why they have also been classified as LICs (Sites of Community Interest). Thus, the three natural areas that converge in our region are dually classified as ZEPAs and LICs, and are included in the Natura 2000 ecology network.

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