Investment for the environmental restoration of fire-affected SPAs

The Council of Ministers has authorised an investment of 1.3 million euros for urgent environmental restoration actions in areas affected by the forest fires in towns in Castilla y León and Extremadura, including several areas considered Special Protection Areas for Birds (SPAs).

Actions are limited to strictly urgent areas, i.e. those where it is technically not possible to postpone their start to later months because they would lose their effectiveness and even much of their need to prevent or remedy damage.

Particularly noteworthy are the actions to be undertaken in Ávila, where last summer there was a major fire that affected an area of more than 4,646 hectares, all of it Natura 2000 Network land and specifically in the Special Protection Area for Birds and Special Conservation Area (SCA) of Pinares del Bajo Alberche, which is an enclave of great value for the recovery of the black stork and the Iberian imperial eagle, species considered to be in danger of extinction.

In Burgos, the July fire took place in the Sabinares del Arlanza-La Yecla natural park, where Bonelli's eagle conservation plans are being developed. In Segovia, in mid-July, the high temperatures and strong winds caused the forest fire in Navafría to spread to Torre Val de San Pedro and Santiuste de Pedraza, municipalities that are home to the Sierra de Guadarrama SPA and SAC areas, a vital space for the conservation of the Iberian imperial eagle.

Furthermore, the government investment will enable the immediate recovery of areas in Extremadura, such as the Monfragüe National Park, which is considered one of the largest sanctuaries for the observation of birds such as black storks, Egyptian vultures, vultures and imperial eagles. These birds must receive special protection, as stated in the study carried out as part of the IA4Birds project of the AIR Institute with the support of the Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR), financed by the European Union - NextGenerationEU. The aim of IA4Birds is to develop a platform based on artificial intelligence that uses audiovisual devices to monitor bird populations in order to prevent threats and risks and to decide whether a given site is suitable for the installation of a wind farm, thereby considerably reducing the high mortality rate of birds due to collisions with wind turbines, as well as other associated risks.