Where the owl dwells
Under the slogan ‘Where the owl dwells’, the Neighbourhood Association for the Promotion of Sustainable Development of Puerto del Garruchal (Adesga) is carrying out a great job for conservation and environmental education in the SPA ‘Monte El Valle y tierras de Altaona y Escalona ‘ in the municipality of Murcia, financed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Water.
The project’s target is to carry out various campaigns of education, awareness and training to different groups, in order to raise awareness of the natural values of this area, the reasons for its protection, promote the advantages of living in an area of Natura 2000 Network and develop an attitude of respect and appreciation towards this place. Nonetheless, most of the performances are aimed at preserving the owl, as it holds the largest population of this species on the planet.
Yet this space of about 14,825 hectares was declared a SPA due to the stable presence of nine pairs of Eurasian Eagle-owls (Bubo bubo) and houses the Site of Community Importance ‘Carrascoy y El Valle’, in addition to meeting the criteria as an Area of Special Conservation (SAC) by the presence of bats.
This area has a rich fauna that makes it a privileged place for enjoyment, knowledge and conservation of natural values. It currently hosts the largest population of Eurasian Eagle-owls across the globe, with 70 steady partners. Likewise, depending on the number of nesting pairs of birds of prey, this SPA comes in second place in the Region of Murcia for bird wealth. It is also worth noting that this area hosts 13 bird species such as the golden eagle, the eagle and Bonelli’s eagle, listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive, the maximum protection.