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Justification for our participation in the TRINO project

More than 45% of the Sierra de la Demanda region, which covers an area of 1,949 km², is protected as part of the Natura 2000 ecology network. More specifically, in this vast territory in which Agalsa operates, there are two areas classified as ZEPAs (Special Protection Areas for Birds, from the Spanish acronym): ZEPA Sierra de la Demanda and ZEPA Sabinares del Arlanza. The first covers a total area of 50,908.4 ha and the second 37,404.1 ha, with both of them belonging to Mediterranean biogeographical zones. There are also two significant wetlands, that of Atapuerca and that of Hacinas.

In Sierra de la Demana, the most abundant taxonomic group is birds, with close to a hundred species, including: the white stork, Montagu’s harrier, Egyptian vulture, common turtle dove, Bonelli’s Eagle, golden Eagle, griffon vulture, peregrine falcon, Eurasian eagle-owl, short-toed snake eagle, booted eagle, black kite, nightcap, and common kingfisher. The presence of other species can also be enjoyed, such as: the woodlark, tawny pipit, Dartford warbler, red-backed shrike, red-billed chough, Ortolan bunting, goshawk, Eurasian sparrowhawk, Eurasian hobby, lesser spotted woodpecker, white-throated dipper, rock thrush, citril finch, hoopoe, white wagtail, short-eared owl, grey wagtail, house martin, barn swallow, common redstart, wryneck, wheatear, European bee-eater, alpine swift, common swift, cuckoo, Eurasian crag martin, great spotted cuckoo, lesser charadrius, bare-legged owl, Eurasian golden oriole, and melodius warbler. Together with these species are others that are specially protected, such as the hen harrier, European honey buzzard, and the Iberian grey partridge. Also, in the wetlands located in the area in which Agalsa works, which have been recently recovered, more than ninety different types of birds have been recorded. The Atapuerca wetland is located in a strategic stopping point, the Bureba corridor, a natural valley that serves as a favourable route to migratory aquatic birds. The Hacinas wetland has been transformed into an emblematic place in Sierra de la Demanda for the white stork, with several dozen pairs nesting in the immediate areas.

In addition to all of this, it should also be mentioned that the area that the Sierra de la Demanda covers stands out because of its biogeographical interest, since it contains relict populations (some of them being completely isolated) and populations of some bird species whose distribution area in Castilla y León is located in areas further north. The forest and low scrubland bird communities are also noteworthy.

The Agalsa local action group considers the its participation in the TRINO project a very relevant part of developing quality rural tourism in its territory. Environmental education for young children and young adults, awareness on the part of farmers, foresters and livestock farmers, and training for guides are all objectives of TRINO, and are completely applicable to the entire Sierra de la Demanda population. Together with this comes an interest in protecting and conserving protected birds and the creation of paths that respect animals and their environment that can be travelled by bicycle, on horseback, on foot, etc. depending on the species one wishes to observe; these are also TRINO objectives that greatly interest Agalsa. Finally, the end goals of the TRINO project related to training establishments that provide rural tourism lodging are also very important to meet the objectives set forth in the Sierra de la Demanda Development Plan (2007-2013) that Agalsa promotes, so that these establishments are thus capable of offering birdwatching and nature tourism tools, always applying a criteria of sustainability and being committed to safeguard good environmental practices.

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