Preservation of pastureland habitats in basque mountains

Managing mountain pastures is a complex task, since they are heterogeneous environments with a noteworthy number of habitats and species of interest and depend on extensive livestock use for maintenance.


Conservación de habitats pascícolas en la montaña vasca

A cultural landscape

The high parts of Basque mountains have been used for grazing since time immemorial, as borne witness to by dolmens and other archaeological remains found in these areas. This use led to a characteristic landscape with open moors, where today a large variety of users come together: mountaineers, shepherds, hunters, etc.

Proyecto life oreka mendian. Un ecosistema amenazado

An ecosystem under threat

Basque mountain pastures are composed of a dynamic mosaic of habitats and species, highly valuable to preserve biodiversity in Europe. These spaces depend on active management of livestock use, which means that the progressive decline of grazing is the main threat to preservation.

Proyecto life oreka mendian. Unos servicios a revalorizar

Raising the value of services

The services associated with mountain pastures are many: products derived from livestock (cheese, meat, etc.), a genuine landscape, the maintenance of basic ecological processes, and valuable material and immaterial cultural elements. Raising the value of these services and socialising them is fundamental, as well as acknowledging the role of livestock activity in managing these environments.

Informative video about the project

The keys to achieve sustainable balance

Las claves para conseguir un equilibrio sostenible. Mejorar el conocimiento

Improving knowledge

  • Sustainable practises in managing mountain pasture habitats (A1, E3)
  • Monitoring Network for fodder production in habitats of community interest (A3)
Las claves para conseguir un equilibrio sostenible. Gestionar para conservar

Manage to preserve

  • Planning preservation actions in each ZEC (A2)
  • Implementation of preservation measures in each ZEC (C1 – C15)
Las claves para conseguir un equilibrio sostenible. Seguimiento.

Monitoring and evaluation

  • Monitoring the repercussions of the project’s actions on preservation objectives (D1)
  • Evaluation of the project’s socioeconomic impact (D2)
Las claves para conseguir un equilibrio sostenible. Participación


  • Participation and local communication (E2)
  • Participation, communication and technical-scientific training (E3)
  • Projection and prospection in Europe (E4)
Las claves para conseguir un equilibrio sostenible. Comunicación y sensibilización

Communication and awareness

  • Communicating the socioeconomic and environmental interest of preserving mountain pastures to society, placing higher value on the role of livestock operators in maintaining them (E1)
Símbolo de oreka mendian

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