Biodiversity in the Sierra de Madrid
Our conservation and biodiversity improvement project is based on a fundamental idea: Wildlife thrives in places that offer food, space, and protection.
For this reason, our efforts focus on specific actions that facilitate natural processes in healthy ecosystems. We also adapt the facilities for horses to promote wildlife.
Flora and Invertebrates
To preserve the quality and variety of plant species, the key is to limit the number of horses per hectare. Instead of causing soil compaction and erosion, horses become allies for conservation through grazing and manure.
Insects are also our allies. Dung beetles decompose and bury excrement, contributing to the development of soils rich in organic matter. Their protection is crucial, and we only deworm if strictly necessary (based on previous fecal analysis), benefiting both insects and horses (avoiding damage to intestinal flora and parasite resistance).
Pollinator insects are essential for the life cycle of flowering plants. To support this, we have 4 beehives (managed by our collaborator Ignacio Sánchez) ensuring the pollination of local plants.
Reptiles and Amphibians
Species highly vulnerable due to climate change and the abandonment of traditional livestock activities.
Our intervention involves protecting natural ponds exclusively reserved for wildlife, preventing the entry of larger animals. We have successfully tested this technique, leading to the return of at least 6 amphibian species in places where there was only an accumulation of urine and livestock excrement.
We have also recovered and adapted traditional watering troughs that now include entry and exit ramps for amphibians and reptiles to use this essential resource throughout the year.
We never reintroduce species (unless participating in a reintroduction program with all the sanitary guarantees) to avoid the spread of diseases such as chytridiomycosis, which is decimating the global amphibian population.
Mammals and Birds
Our approach to supporting mammals is to have completely permeable boundaries so that wildlife can enter and exit freely from Tierra en Calma. We utilize passages created (mainly by the wild boar population) in walls to create wildlife crossings.
Maintaining water points also ensures access to this resource during the toughest months of the year. We have a battery of camera traps to study the variety of mammals in the area without causing any disturbances or conditioning, as we do not use any attractants.
For birds, we install nest boxes in environmental education sessions to support small birds. The troughs with ramps allow access to water without the risk of drowning, and we pay special attention to woodpeckers, maintaining the presence of dead trees, which are essential for them.