As every year, El Hito Lagoon hosts one of the most beautiful natural spectacles that can be seen at this time of year: the arrival of cranes from northern Europe. Although this year they have taken longer than usual, according to the latest census of the Fundación Global Nature, about 3,500 cranes are already resting in the roost of the wetland.
This season, the lagoon has an added attraction: the installation of a wooden observatory located near of the water, where, in addition to the cranes, you can see a variety of ducks and aquatic birds that spend the winter in El Hito Lagoon.
In order to bring this ornithological spectacle to the general public, FGN offers guided tours from October to March, aimed at the general public and specific groups, paying special attention to schoolchildren and adults in the region
The crane, flagship species of El Hito Lagoon
Through Fundación Global Nature’s environmental education program, visitors to the lagoon will have the opportunity to learn more about the habits and main characteristics of El Hito Lagoon’s wintering species.
The common crane (Grus grus) is the most emblematic bird of the lagoon. This majestic bird is characterized by its long migratory journeys, in which it can travel thousands of kilometers and cross up to two continents in search of a place to spend the winter.
The Wetland Trail
With the bird observatory, an interpretation trail has been developed for the visit to these environments, which raises awareness of the importance of La Mancha’s saline wetlands and their rich biodiversity, with valuable endemic species and highly threatened plant formations.
The inauguration of the El Hito Lagoon Observatory and The Wetland Trail was attended by José Luis Martínez Guijarro, Vice President of Castilla-La Mancha; José Luis Escudero, Counsil of Sustainable Development of Castilla-La Mancha; María Jesús Rodríguez de Sancho, General Manager of Biodiversity of the Ministry for Ecological Transition; and the mayors of the municipalities of El Hito and Montalbo, Yolanda Rozalén and Carlos Muelas respectively.
The improvement of the public use of the natural environment is one of the objectives of the LIFE project for the restoration and conservation of El Hito Lagoon.
Promoted by the Fundación Global Nature, the Regional Deputy of Cuenca and the European Union’s LIFE program, it aims to halt the decline that the wetland has suffered in recent years. The initiative also has the support of Aramco Europe, Castilla-La Mancha Regional Administration and Fundación Montemadrid.