Can we bring into line the economic activities of the rural world with the biodiversity conservation?
At AMUS we strive to ensure it. An example of this is the action to reinforce the population of the red kite that we coordinate within the LIFE EUROKITE project framework.
The place chosen for the release of the kites is located in an estate of numerous cork oaks in the pasture environment of Valencia del Mombuey (Extremadura, Spain). This tree, in addition to providing the much appreciated shade during the period of growth and acclimatization of these birds of prey, will provide them with a nesting substrate. But before the kites can make use of this service after being released, the cork oaks offer us an exclusive Mediterranean forest product: cork.
This raw material has great economic value due to its low density, impermeability, elasticity, insulation capacity and resistance to corrosion, wear and fire. It constitutes a resource whose economic use is obtained manually every nine or ten years and, preferably, by specialized staff who extract the cork without damaging the cork oaks.
Uncorking turns out to be an important source of employment and wealth in rural areas. But the period in which it's carried out coincides with the hacking of the red kites, and may be a disturbance for them because they are still in the aviaries.
For this reason, the LIFE EUROKITE staff has remained in close contact with the managers and owners of the farm where the release point is located, as well as with the company and staff responsible for obtaining this appreciated material. In this way, the extraction of the cork has been jointly planned, minimizing the inconvenience for the kites.
The communication, understanding and collaboration of everyone involved has been essential to be able to carry out this work of compatibility between obtaining economic resources, in this case cork, and the conservation of the red kite.
More information: https://www.amus.org.es/