Southern Iberian Chain


Deli Saavedra / Rewilding Europe

The Southern Iberian Chain: restoring one of Spain’s most iconic landscapes

Project Achievements

A major mountain range, the 500 km-long Iberian Chain boasts diverse, dramatic landscapes and rich biodiversity including Egyptian vulture and Iberian ibex. As a result of land abandonment, it also has one of Europe’s lowest human population densities. Focusing on the southern section of the Iberian Chain (850,000 hectares), a rewilding plan for the area has been prepared covering: ‘Alto Tajo’, ‘Serrania de Cuenca’ and ‘Montes Universales’.

This plan should transform challenges posed by land abandonment into opportunities for reinstating natural grazing and protecting a network of old-growth forests. The project envisages that wildlife comeback – perhaps even the return of lost predators such as Iberian lynx – may increase nature-based tourism. The project’s vision is that this would revitalise local economies and counter the risk of destructive land uses such as mining and intensive forestry.

US$3 million have been raised from the Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme, Cartier Foundation and Rewilding Europe to progress the landscape initiative for the next 3 years. Rewilding Spain and Rewilding Europe will continue to work with partners to raise resources and to deliver the rewilding plan for the initiative. To see the plans for the full restoration landscape, see the project page.

Project Partners

Rewilding Europe
Fundación Internacional para la Restauración de Ecosistemas (FIRE)
Terra Naturalis
Asociación Micorriza
Rewilding Spain

Quick Facts

ELSP funding

US$ 80,000

Duration of grant

September 2019 – November 2020

Project Gallery

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