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Proposal to reintroduce Iberian lynx on abandoned agricultural land
Date:9/17/2009

Spanish scientists have developed a model to identify the agricultural areas with the greatest potential for restoring the habitat of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), which is at risk of extinction. The study shows that olive groves with low production close to the Natural Park of the Sierra de Cardea y Montoro, in Crdoba which is the only place, along with Doana, where this species lives are the most appropriate sites for this purpose.

Researchers from the regional government of Andalusia's Institute for Agricultural and Fishing Research and Training (IFAPA) have studied the impact and risk of these mountain olive groves being abandoned, in order to come up with an appropriate management system for them (conventional, mixed or organic), or to suggest they should be reconverted to Mediterranean forest.

The risk of these olive groves being abandoned is "due to their location, which has serious socioeconomic implications (mainly in terms of the population leaving rural areas) and environmental ones (erosion and risk of fires)", Manuel Arriaza, director of the study and a researcher at the IFAPA, tells SINC. "Although the olive groves have low production levels and high production costs, they are areas with great environmental value", adds Arriaza.

The general model of the research study, which has been published recently in the Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, was developed using various Geographical Information Systems (GISs), and also took into account experts' opinions about the commercial and non-commercial functions of the olive groves, as well as those of 480 people in the province of Crdoba about the importance that society places on these functions in agricultural areas.

The scientists evaluated the socioeconomic functions (olive oil production and retention of the rural population), environmental ones (prevention of erosion and fires, conservation and improvement of biodiversity, with spe
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Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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