Valle del Bisonte

Cantabria, Northern Spain

Valle del Bisonte

Bison Valley

Montaña de Riaño – Picos de Europa

Cantabrian Mountains, Province of León, Northern Spain

After 15,000 years, European bison, wild pottoka horses and other megafauna return to long-lost habitat in the Cantabrian Mountains. Goal of the project is ecological restoration to promote climate change resilience, biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of the forest landscape under global change. The project develops job and income generation opportunities that support the rural economy – as drivers for sustainable development.

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With your help long lost wildlife like the Wisent (European bison),aurochs and wild horses will return to this mountain ecosystem.

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Donation Total: €25.00

Wildlife Species

Herbivores

Wisent (European bison), Pottoka horses, Water buffalo, Red deer, Chamois, Iberian ibex, Wild boar.

Carnivores

Iberian Wolves, Cantabrian Brown Bear.

 

Ecological Restoration

Valle del Bisonte (Anciles Wildlife Reserve) is a stunningly beautiful valley, surrounded by mountains that together form a natural amphitheater. The area is being developed into an important model project for ecological and rural development. Goal of the project is ecological restoration and sustainable management of the forest landscape.

Landscape and ecological values are protected and restored, the area’s natural resilience to climate change will be improved whilst encouraging the use of the reserve as a resource for wildlife-based ecotourism and delivering a range of ecological services.

Natural Grazing

The project focuses on a natural grazing management approach that will restore vegetation in Valle del Bisonte to its original state. The use of large herbivores in nature and grazing management has become a common practice in recent years.

Through their grazing, trampling, nutrient redistribution and migration patterns, large grazers help to restore the indigenous plant diversity in natural areas. By creating more open spaces in dense vegetation, more succession stages and thus more variation in the landscape and new habitats will be created.

Ecotourism

Developing sustainable income streams for protected areas and surrounding communities is one of the major challenges facing biodiversity conservation globally. At the same time, rural areas become abandoned as young people migrate to cities for better perspectives.

In Valle del Bisonte we restore ecosystems, while creating economic opportunities and employment through ecotourism and ecosystem services.

The reintroduced European bison is the main attraction in the area, along with other iconic species such as the indigenous wild Pottoka horses, Water buffalo, Cantabrian bear, Iberian wolf, and large herbivores.

Ecotourism gives added economic value to this natural reserve. It generates direct and indirect income for local communities and promotes the sustainable use of natural resources.

Field Stories

Wellness for horses

The wild Pottaka horses are distinctive characters in the large wildlife reserve of Anciles, Valle del Bisonte. The sun shines everyday now, and the temperature rises. For a wild animal it is important to stay healthy. Not only internally but also on the outside of...

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