Fundación Global Nature has acquired the third plot of land, of the four planned, in El Hito LIFE project. This purchase ensures the protection of 361.6 hectares of the natural area of El Hito Lagoon, which represents two thirds of the natural reserve and 36% of this iconic area of the Natura 2000 Network. One of the main objectives of the European project for the extension and restoration of the El Hito lagoon is thus being achieved: the purchase of land to ensure the permanent and effective protection of this wetland and the surrounding priority habitats.
The natural area of El Hito Lagoon is an oasis of extraordinary biodiversity. It is home to one of the most emblematic salt steppes of Castilla-La Mancha, with valuable endemic species and highly threatened plant formations.
The land purchase is intended to protect the basin and the buffer zone surrounding the lagoon. In it, there are albardine and Limonium meadows (species similar to esparto grass and evergreens) of high ecological value. “The acquisition of farms has been consolidated in Spain as a strategy to protect biodiversity, especially in critical areas for vulnerable species,” explains the manager of Fundación Global Nature, Eduardo de Miguel.
The project proposes the acquisition of 500.54 ha. of land, where priority conservation species and species of interest for the Habitats Directive and the EU Birds Directive breed. “The objective is to protect biodiversity and wintering birds, which is why the European Commission has granted this LIFE”, says Eduardo de Miguel, who concludes: “We are aware that the El Hito Lagoon is a passage for cranes and other key migratory birds in the center of the Peninsula”.