Green Belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz -Salburua park

Green Belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz

Presentation | How to get here | Map and aerial views | Ecological importance | Recovery of the wetlands | Vital ways | Ataria

After the recovery works that were done today Salburua is one of the most relevant continental wetlands in its geographical area. The importance of Salburua transcends its local or regional context as evidenced by its inclusion in the list of wetlands of international importance, in accordance with the Ramsar Agreement of 2002. More recently, it has been declared International Importance Place into the Natura 2000 network in which it will join other European natural spaces of greater interest for conservation.

The ecological values and functions of wetlands such as Salburua are many and include a discreet and essential function as a powerful cleansing element that eliminates harmful substances from the waters of the aquifer where it stands.

Ecological importance

Among the plants that grow in these Lakes, of special interest are the wealth of aquatic and emerging flora and very specially, the extensive formations of great pond-sedge (Carex riparia), considered to be the best preserved of those found on the Iberian peninsula. The presence of one of the last surviving oak woods of the Llanada Alavesa is another of its outstanding features.

The importance of the park's fauna is unquestionable, both with regard to its diversity and the level of threat to many of the species that inhabit Salburua. With the exception of the park's herd of deer, introduced artificially in order to control the marshland vegetation, all the fauna that inhabits the wetlands is wild. Salburua parks ecological importance

Although there is still a lot of research to be done on the invertebrates in Salburua, we know that it is the home of one of the largest communities of beetles of the Carabidae family (108 species) as well as a number of dragonfly species under threat of extinction, such as the Coenagrion mercuriale.

Salburua also contains one of the most comprehensive communities of amphibians and reptiles in the Basque Country. Some of the most interesting of these are the native freshwater turtles and the agile frog, a small amphibian that lives in the undergrowth of the oak wood and is in danger of becoming extinct on the Iberian peninsula.

Salburua is also an exceptional sanctuary for bird life. Its strategic situation on the principle migration routes means that thousands of birds use Salburua as a resting place on their long journeys, offering them a safe environment and abundant food. Some of them stay for the whole winter and even choose these lakes as a place to nest and raise their young. The presence of species in serious risk of extinction is frequent in this area, emphasising its importance as a "hotspot" for the conservation of this group of animals. The aquatic warbler, the purple heron, the garganey, the dwarf bittern and spoonbills are only some of the endangered species of birds that inhabit Salburua at different times of the year.

Salburuko parkearen garrantzi ekologikoa

But the most significant species in this area belongs to the mammal community: the European mink (Mustela lutreola). This is one of the most threatened carnivores in the world and, together with the Iberian lynx, is one of the most endangered species in the whole of Europe The population of European mink in Salburua is under great threat and therefore its conservation is one of the priority goals of the management of the park.

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