European Rewilding Network

Wilder Campo de Montiel

Campo de Montiel más Natural

The Guadalén River passing through the Mediterranean evergreen forest at Villamanrique, Ciudad Real.
José Guzmán
Vast and extensive cereal crops, where a rich and endangered community of steppe-like habitat birds thrive, dominate large parts of Campo de Montiel.
_José Guzmán
View of Campo de Montiel from Cabeza Buey (Torrenueva, Ciudad Real), showing the mosaic of Mediterranean monte, dehesas, olive tree groves, and extensive crops.
José M. Rey Benayas
Release of a young Iberian lynx for reintroduction purposes in Campo de Motiel, Ciudad Real. The Iberian lynx is the most salient species in the area.
José Guzmán
A Montagu’s harrier, one of the iconic species of Spain’s Campo de Montiel region.
The Campo de Montiel region is a melting pot of diverse Mediterranean wildlife and landscapes.
José M. Sierra
A map of south-central Spain's Campo de Montiel region and its different types of protected areas.
FIRE

Campo de Montiel is a ca. 600,000 ha region located in Central Spain, which represents a continental Mediterranean agricultural and forest/shrubland mosaic. Iconic species such as the Iberian lynx, the Iberian imperial eagle and the Great bustard thrive in the region, which holds a considerable amount of natural protected areas. It is also a migratory pass way for birds. This region is also rich in native domesticated biodiversity and culture (e.g. it is Don Quijote´s land), part of which is strongly linked to the natural heritage (transhumance, extensive sheep and goat grazing, sustainable agricultural practices, traditional hunting, gastronomy). However, land use intensification (e.g. agriculture and hunting), which has already occurred at a considerable extent, and new mining projects threaten Campo de Montiel. Some relevant species such as the Bonelli´s eagle do not nest anymore in the area or are declining.

We pursue enhancing wildlife at the landscape scale, in a respectful manner with the local inhabitants, and think that these actions may bring up new economic opportunities. To achieve this goal, we will trigger and spread conservation and restoration actions that, together with the best practices of land use, enhance biodiversity and human well-being in the region, including a new economy and nature-based businesses. We aim to restore (1) dispersion and connectivity, (2) natural disturbances, (3) trophic networks, and (4) environmental heterogeneity. A relevant specific objective is to bring back species such as the Bonelli´s eagle and to recover the populations of sharply declining species such as the Little bustard and Montagu’s Harrier. We pursue as well merging the enhanced natural heritage with the cultural heritage and create sense of place.

Project: Wilder Campo de Montiel
Region: Spain, Castilla-La Mancha
Type of protection: There are 16 Natural Protected Areas of different types. The most salient ones are a Natural Park, two Important Bird Areas, three Special Conservation Zones, and an area that overlaps IBA and SCZ.
Habitat types: Mediterranean forest and shrubland, open shrubland with pastures, dehesas, agricultural steppe-like habitat, shallow lakes, water reservoirs
Aim and vision: Our aim is to transfer the best knowledge and experience to restore ecosystems throughout the world. To achieve this overarching goal, FIRE produces relevant scientific and technical information; implement restoration projects at different scales; builds capacity for students, professional persons and technicians related to the planning, operations and assessment of ecological restoration actions; and supports projects of companies that pursue the sustainable use of natural resources.
Operate and improve the practice of ecological restoration in close tights with the stakeholders related to such practice, working in a transparent and respectful manner in collaboration with academic groups, companies, organizations and citizens in general.
Uniqueness of the project: A genuine melting of Mediterranean wildlife, domesticated biodiversity, traditional farming practices, cultural heritage, and vast high-value landscapes, which offers under-exploited economic opportunities based upon nature-based solutions.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, High-impact communications, Recreational activities, Research, Sale of sustainable products
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: We are aiming for:
- Restored natural processes
- A more sustainable farmland environment
- New established nature-based businesses
- Assisted colonization of Bonelli´s eagle and Black vulture
- Increased populations of the reintroduced Iberian lynx and of the Iberian imperial eagle, Montagu's Harrier, Little bustard and other steppe-like habitat bird species
Results so far: The regional administration in collaboration with conservation organizations has successfully reintroduced the Iberian lynx and enhanced the population of the Iberian imperial eagle.

FIRE has been developing individual, relatively small projects in the region since 2010; the main ones are the "Fields for Life", "Gardens for Life", "Green Road Links and Roundabouts", and “Singular Fruit Trees” projects. The Fields for Life project has implemented a number of actions such as hedgerow planting (1,800 m), pond construction (15), and installation of nest-boxes for different bird species (74) and perches (43), which are mostly intended to enhance wildlife in the farmed environment. Gardens for Life is a naturalistic gardening project implemented in one site. The Green Road Links and Roundabouts project has been implemented in one site as well, and it mostly consists on revegetating these "empty" spaces around towns. The Singular Fruit Tree project has propagated a magnificent > 200-yr-old almond tree and planted new seedlings from it. FIRE has performed training, volunteering, communication, and education actions related to the mentioned projects. It has also conducted research related to bird communities (nocturnal birds and birds within and around the tree plantations) in the region, and monitoring of plants and mammals.
Inspirational value: Outcomes related to the conciliation of wildlife, a healthy environment, and human well-being linked to new economic opportunities and sense of place are our major reward and the inspiration that fuels our work.
Experience you would like to share: We know well the Campo de Montiel and have a lot of contacts at different levels (conservationists, business people, farmers, local and regional administrators, and others). We are willing to share our knowledge and experience related to wildlife, land use practices, social environment, and stakeholders. We consider ourselves strong in relation to wildlife conservation and restoration actions (agroecological and forest restoration) in the region.
Experience you would like to gain: We expect to receive feed-back from outside to help achieving the ultimate goal of our project. Particularly, we consider ourselves weak in relation to business entrepreneuring. We would love that Campo de Montiel, eventually, be a project of Rewilding Europe as the Western Iberia Project and the emerging Iberian Highlands project.
Map
Country
Spain
Start year
2020
End year
2040
Size (ha)
600,000
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic, Freshwater lakes, Mediterranean vegetation
Natural process
Flooding, Natural grazing, Other, Predation
Flagship species
Ibex, Lynx, Otter, Red deer, Roe deer, Vulture
Wilder Campo de Montiel
Wilder Campo de Montiel
The Guadalén River passing through the Mediterranean evergreen forest at Villamanrique, Ciudad Real.
José Guzmán
Vast and extensive cereal crops, where a rich and endangered community of steppe-like habitat birds thrive, dominate large parts of Campo de Montiel.
_José Guzmán
View of Campo de Montiel from Cabeza Buey (Torrenueva, Ciudad Real), showing the mosaic of Mediterranean monte, dehesas, olive tree groves, and extensive crops.
José M. Rey Benayas
Release of a young Iberian lynx for reintroduction purposes in Campo de Motiel, Ciudad Real. The Iberian lynx is the most salient species in the area.
José Guzmán
A Montagu’s harrier, one of the iconic species of Spain’s Campo de Montiel region.
The Campo de Montiel region is a melting pot of diverse Mediterranean wildlife and landscapes.
José M. Sierra
A map of south-central Spain's Campo de Montiel region and its different types of protected areas.
FIRE

Campo de Montiel is a ca. 600,000 ha region located in Central Spain, which represents a continental Mediterranean agricultural and forest/shrubland mosaic. Iconic species such as the Iberian lynx, the Iberian imperial eagle and the Great bustard thrive in the region, which holds a considerable amount of natural protected areas. It is also a migratory pass way for birds. This region is also rich in native domesticated biodiversity and culture (e.g. it is Don Quijote´s land), part of which is strongly linked to the natural heritage (transhumance, extensive sheep and goat grazing, sustainable agricultural practices, traditional hunting, gastronomy). However, land use intensification (e.g. agriculture and hunting), which has already occurred at a considerable extent, and new mining projects threaten Campo de Montiel. Some relevant species such as the Bonelli´s eagle do not nest anymore in the area or are declining.

We pursue enhancing wildlife at the landscape scale, in a respectful manner with the local inhabitants, and think that these actions may bring up new economic opportunities. To achieve this goal, we will trigger and spread conservation and restoration actions that, together with the best practices of land use, enhance biodiversity and human well-being in the region, including a new economy and nature-based businesses. We aim to restore (1) dispersion and connectivity, (2) natural disturbances, (3) trophic networks, and (4) environmental heterogeneity. A relevant specific objective is to bring back species such as the Bonelli´s eagle and to recover the populations of sharply declining species such as the Little bustard and Montagu’s Harrier. We pursue as well merging the enhanced natural heritage with the cultural heritage and create sense of place.

Map
Country
Spain
Start year
2020
End year
2040
Size (ha)
600,000
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic, Freshwater lakes, Mediterranean vegetation
Natural process
Flooding, Natural grazing, Other, Predation
Flagship species
Ibex, Lynx, Otter, Red deer, Roe deer, Vulture
Specification
Project: Wilder Campo de Montiel
Region: Spain, Castilla-La Mancha
Type of protection: There are 16 Natural Protected Areas of different types. The most salient ones are a Natural Park, two Important Bird Areas, three Special Conservation Zones, and an area that overlaps IBA and SCZ.
Habitat types: Mediterranean forest and shrubland, open shrubland with pastures, dehesas, agricultural steppe-like habitat, shallow lakes, water reservoirs
Description
Aim and vision: Our aim is to transfer the best knowledge and experience to restore ecosystems throughout the world. To achieve this overarching goal, FIRE produces relevant scientific and technical information; implement restoration projects at different scales; builds capacity for students, professional persons and technicians related to the planning, operations and assessment of ecological restoration actions; and supports projects of companies that pursue the sustainable use of natural resources.
Operate and improve the practice of ecological restoration in close tights with the stakeholders related to such practice, working in a transparent and respectful manner in collaboration with academic groups, companies, organizations and citizens in general.
Uniqueness of the project: A genuine melting of Mediterranean wildlife, domesticated biodiversity, traditional farming practices, cultural heritage, and vast high-value landscapes, which offers under-exploited economic opportunities based upon nature-based solutions.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, High-impact communications, Recreational activities, Research, Sale of sustainable products
Achievements
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: We are aiming for:
- Restored natural processes
- A more sustainable farmland environment
- New established nature-based businesses
- Assisted colonization of Bonelli´s eagle and Black vulture
- Increased populations of the reintroduced Iberian lynx and of the Iberian imperial eagle, Montagu's Harrier, Little bustard and other steppe-like habitat bird species
Results so far: The regional administration in collaboration with conservation organizations has successfully reintroduced the Iberian lynx and enhanced the population of the Iberian imperial eagle.

FIRE has been developing individual, relatively small projects in the region since 2010; the main ones are the "Fields for Life", "Gardens for Life", "Green Road Links and Roundabouts", and “Singular Fruit Trees” projects. The Fields for Life project has implemented a number of actions such as hedgerow planting (1,800 m), pond construction (15), and installation of nest-boxes for different bird species (74) and perches (43), which are mostly intended to enhance wildlife in the farmed environment. Gardens for Life is a naturalistic gardening project implemented in one site. The Green Road Links and Roundabouts project has been implemented in one site as well, and it mostly consists on revegetating these "empty" spaces around towns. The Singular Fruit Tree project has propagated a magnificent > 200-yr-old almond tree and planted new seedlings from it. FIRE has performed training, volunteering, communication, and education actions related to the mentioned projects. It has also conducted research related to bird communities (nocturnal birds and birds within and around the tree plantations) in the region, and monitoring of plants and mammals.
Exchange
Inspirational value: Outcomes related to the conciliation of wildlife, a healthy environment, and human well-being linked to new economic opportunities and sense of place are our major reward and the inspiration that fuels our work.
Experience you would like to share: We know well the Campo de Montiel and have a lot of contacts at different levels (conservationists, business people, farmers, local and regional administrators, and others). We are willing to share our knowledge and experience related to wildlife, land use practices, social environment, and stakeholders. We consider ourselves strong in relation to wildlife conservation and restoration actions (agroecological and forest restoration) in the region.
Experience you would like to gain: We expect to receive feed-back from outside to help achieving the ultimate goal of our project. Particularly, we consider ourselves weak in relation to business entrepreneuring. We would love that Campo de Montiel, eventually, be a project of Rewilding Europe as the Western Iberia Project and the emerging Iberian Highlands project.
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