The LIFE BACCATA Project is ending the characterization phase and the habitat diagnosis 9580*

The Action A1 named “Characterization and habitat diagnosis 9580*” of the LIFE BACCATA Project is about to end, aiming to clarify the interpretation of the habitat 9580* in Spain, to obtain information in order to promote locally this habitat and to define a methodology for the development of the following actions.

This action focuses on the habitat 9580*, that currently has an “unfavourable-inadequate” conservation status in the Atlantic region and an “unfavourable-bad” conservation status in the Mediterranean, according to the report about the implementation of the Habitats Directive in the period 2007-2012 (article 17 of the Directive), both in Spain and in the EU.

It must be reminded that the yew is affected by a series a threats that directly have an impact on the biodiversity of the occupied areas. These threats appeared over the years and take various forms: fires, pruning, infrastructures’ construction, fragmentation and lack of connection between these natural areas or the impacts of climate change. Individually or together, these threats have endangered the survival of the species, its habitat and the biodiversity, it is therefore necessary to act and ensure its future in a sustainable way. The action’s works focus on pine forests in fifteen areas of the Natura 2000 Network in the Cantabrian Mountains belonging to Galicia, Castile-and-León and the Basque Country.

Two phases have been established in this Action A1. On the one hand, an inventory of pine forests was elaborated in its scope of action, studying the degree of connectivity and other aspects such as the floristic composition and the presence of threatened and exotic species. The habitat mapping through field work, the study of the relationship between the population and the pine forests and how these have impacted on traditional uses, have culminated in this first phase. On the other hand, necessary indicators have been identified to evaluate the project’s impacts on the habitat in accordance with what is established in the Habitats Directive. Now starts the following action focusing on the technical planning of the conservation.

The LIFE BACCATA Project intends to implement the necessary measures of protection and forest management that promote the improvement of the conservation status and the restauration of the yew and pine forests, by encouraging its natural regeneration, and the one of flora and fauna species in these areas, and by contributing to a slow-down of the biodiversity loss.

The LIFE BACCATA Project is co-funded by the European Commission within the framework of the LIFE call for proposals and is taking place between 2016 and 2020 in fifteen areas of the Natura 2000 Network in the Cantabrian Mountains and belonging to Galicia, Castile-and-León and the Basque Country. The University of Santiago de Compostela participates as project coordinator and also participate as partners Castile-and-León Council, Cesefor, Hazi Foundation and TRAGSA Group.