Innovation: Recovery And Conservation Program For Galemys Pyrenaicus And Its Habitat In Castilla Y León And Extremadura

Last update: 21.08.2013
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Keywords: 
endangered species‚ aquatic ecosystem‚ endemic species‚ protected area‚ mountainous area‚ population dynamics‚
The Iberian/Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus) is a small semi-aquatic mammal that is endemic to mountain streams in the Iberian Peninsula. The species is an excellent biological indicator with numbers reflecting closely the state of conservation or degradation of the habitats it occupies. However, the desman is increasingly in danger of extinction, with populations being both reduced and increasingly fragmented.

The species is currently disappearing from the Sistema Central mountain range that covers the inner Iberian plateau and significant population decreases have been identified in the southern river basins of the Cantabrian mountain range. It has been catalogued by the IUCN Red List as a “vulnerable” species and is classified in some Spanish regions as “in danger of extinction”.

PROJECT GOALS:

The populations of this riverside insectivore, which is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, have undergone a significant decrease and it is in danger of extinction in some regions. What is more, this regression reflects the state of deterioration of the habitats it lives in, which means that support from the Nature 2000 Network and on-site improvement activities at the habitats will improve the overall condition and quality of these places.

The LIFE+ Desmania project for the conservation of the desman, passed by the European Commission in 2012, involves collaboration from 8 national and regional (Extremadura and Castile and Leon) bodies, and has the following aims:

Discover and analyse the distribution of the species and its population regression.

Increase the knowledge base on the biology and ecology of the species in the regions in which it lives.

Increase the populations of the Iberian desman.

Improve the state of their priority habitats the species linked to the Iberian desman.

Reduce the effects of natural threats that affect the distribution of Galemys pyrenaicus.

Remove the desman’s main threat, the American mink, an introduced species that is highly capable of spreading and adapting to the environment.

Awareness among the public of the existence of the desman and its dual role as a biological quality indicator for the water resources and the habitats it lives in.
The DESMANIA project aims to establish the basis for a long-term strategy of recovery for the Iberian desman and its habitats. Ultimately, it hopes to change the negative population trend and improve the conservation status of the species, whilst also benefitting other species using the same habitat.

The project will conduct an exhaustive study of the distribution, biology, behaviour (ethology), and genetics of the Iberian desman. In particular, it will examine and determine the causes of the regression of the species in the area, as well as defining risk maps of the high-priority habitats of the Iberiandesman.

The project team plans to carry out actions to improve the status of the key habitats for the species in the SCIs covered by the project. They expect to establish measures to avoid and reduce the effects of the major identified threats, including invasive predator species, poor water quality and non-sustainable water use in natural channels. The project will involve and engage the relevant competent administrations and diverse social groups in the long-term management of the important habitat for the target species. It will work to increase awareness of the population of the existence of the Iberian desman and its role as a biological indicator of the quality of the water resource and the habitats that it occupies.
Expected results:

1. Increased understanding of the Iberian desman, its distribution, biology and its population regression;
2. Identification and mitigation of major threats;
3. Creation of a network for the long-term conservation of the species;
4. Improvement in habitat quality at key sites for the species (including 88 km of river banks restored and 88.000 trees/shrubs planted);
5. An increase in the Iberian desman population;
6. Benefits to other species in the same habitat – in quantitative terms as well as biodiversity, improving the food chain;
7. Increased awareness of the species and its biological indicator role; and
8. The establishment of a basis for the future transfer of individuals to suitable habitat areas.

This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Recovery And Conservation Program For Galemys Pyrenaicus And Its Habitat In Castilla Y León And Extremadura

Acronym: 
DESMANIA

Runtime: 
01.06.2012 to 30.11.2016

Status: 
on-going project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

FUNDACIÓN BIODIVERSIDAD

(Spain)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: GUTIÉRREZ Roberto Rubio

Website: http://www.fundacion-biodiversidad.es

Contact

FUNDACIÓN BIODIVERSIDAD

Field: Private and public administration (Spain)

Role in project: Coordination

Contact person: Mr. TORRES Ignacio

Website: http://www.fundacion-biodiversidad.es

Phone: +34-911210920

Contact

FUNDACIÓN CESEFOR

Field: Forestry and logging, Private and public administration, Scientific research and development, Engineering (Spain)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Mr. RUBIO GUTIÉRREZ Roberto

Website: http://www.cesefor.com

Phone: +34-618561809

Contact

FUNDACIÓN EL PATRIMOIO NATURAL DE CASTILLA Y LEÓN

Field: Private and public administration (Spain)

Contact person: Mr. JIMENEZ Francisco

Website: http://www.patrimonionatural.org/

Phone: +34-983345850

Contact

GOBIERNO DE EXTREMADURA

Field: Private and public administration (Spain)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Mrs. PALACIOS María Jesús

Website: http://www.gobex.es

Phone: +34-924930093

Contact

JUNTA DE CASTILLA Y LEÓN

Field: Private and public administration (Spain)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Mr. DEL NIDO MARTÍN Juan Julian

Website: http://www.jcyl.es

Phone: +34-983419429

Contact

MINISTERIO DE AGRICULTURA, ALIMENTACIÓN Y MEDIO AMBIENTE

Field: Private and public administration (Spain)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Mrs. GÓMEZ CALMAESTRA Ricardo

Website: http://www.magrama.gob.es

Phone: +34-91 597 58 67

Contact

SOMACYL

Field: Private and public administration (Spain)

Contact person: Mr. ANGULO Adrian

Website: http://www.somacyl.es

Phone: +34-983362888

Contact

TRAGSATEC

Field: Private and public administration (Spain)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Mr. MARTINEZ TORRES Ramón

Website: http://www.tragsa.es/es/sus-empresas/Paginas/tragsatec.aspx

Phone: +34-913225520

Contact