Green Belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz - Zadorra park
The river Zadorra is the largest river in the municipality of Vitoria-Gasteiz (it collects water from all the rivers and streams that run through this territory) and one of the largest rivers in Alava. The source of this river can be found on the foothills of the Entzia mountain range. After supplying the Uribarri-Ganboa reservoir, the river runs along the northern boundary of the city before heading south towards the river Ebro. The Zadorra has a total length of 77 km of which 14 correspond to the stretch of river that passes through this municipality.
The river Zadorra has imposed a natural restraint on the expansion of the city to the north. In fact, the city has expanded towards the river occupying practically the entire natural floodplain on its left bank. This has led to the flooding of large industrial and urban areas during periods of heavy rainfall.
Although a portion of its banks is occupied by industrial premises, illegal market gardens, fields and other inappropriate activities, along many sections of the river, the Zadorra contains the most valuable ecosystems of this municipality. The river itself and the woods that line its banks contain habitats of great ecological value, in which a large number of animal and plant species of great interest coexist. Some of these are endangered species, as is the case of two birds: the lesser spotted woodpecker and the hobby. Special mention should be given to one of the most elusive inhabitants of the river, the European mink, which is in great danger of extinction. This small animal always lives close to water and is considered, after the Iberian lynx, to be the European carnivore in greatest danger of extinction.
Due to all these important environmental values, the river Zadorra has been proposed for inclusion within the European Network of Natural Protected Spaces (Natura 2000 Network).
The restoration work underway on the bed and banks of the most degraded sections of this river, is also helping to improve the environmental quality of the ecosystem as a whole.
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