Proyecto Humedal de los Carrizales

The Project ‘Humedal de Los Carrizales’

[Versión en español]

The Project ‘Humedal de Los Carrizales’ is aiming to create a lagoon covering 4 hectares (9.88 acres) on agricultural land located in ‘Los Carrizales de Elche’.

This area is immediately adjacent to the El Hondo Natural Park (Alicante, Spain, also a Ramsar Site), the main stronghold in the Iberian Peninsula (and therefore in Europe) of globally threatened ducks like the Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris) or the White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucochephala).

This wetland, ‘Los Carrizales’ (which literally means “The Giant Reeds”), was part of the so-called ‘Albufera de Elche’ (Lagoon of Elche), intensely transformed for its farming exploitation. Today, this wetland forms part of the Perimeter Area of Protection of El Hondo, and is included in the Wetland Inventory of the Community of Valencia.

The Project is allowing the restoration of the natural ecosystem, creating a permanent lake, thus favoring the presence of threatened bird species, like the Marbled Teal as well as many other waterbirds. This project also intends to favour threatened fishes like the fartet (Aphanius iberus) or the eel (Anguilla Anguilla) , and the shoreline vegetation is being recovered.

The lake is mainly supplied with water from the underlying aquifer, as well as partly from the nearby system of irrigation channels. The construction of a bird observatory for environmental education is planned in the near future.

One of the most interesting aspects of the project is the collaboration between two environmental conservation associations, ANSE and ANSA (Naturalists Associations of the South of Alicante and of the South-East of Spain), and an association of farmers, la Comunidad de Regantes de “Los Carrizales” (Association of Farmers with Irrigation Rights at “Los Carrizales”) . This project is showing that farmers and conservationists can work together in the recovery of biodiversity through so-called “Land Care”.

This project has so far been completed for 25% of the wetland (nearly 1 hectare or 2.47 acres) thanks to the economic support from the Spanish Ministry of Environment that has funded the digging, reforestation and signposting works. Financial support is required to allow completion of the project.

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Help us to purchase this wetland

ANSE has contributed with the purchase of 2 hectares (4.94 acres) of lucerne and cereals crops. The aim of the association is to complete the purchase of this new nature reserve via popular support, as this association previously did during the 1990s to create the reserves for the Moorish Tortoise in the Region of Murcia .


Many thanks for your collaboration

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