Measures to harmonise agriculture with the preservation of steppe birds in Special Protection Areas

This application addresses eight Natura 2000 locations within the network belonging to the Autonomous Community of Castilla La Mancha in Spain, specifically CODE SPAES0000153 East Albacete Steppe Area, ES0000154 El Bonillo Steppe, AreaES0000157 Campo de Calatrava, ES0000158 Campo de Montiel Steppe Area, ES0000390 San Clemente, ES0000167 La Campiña grain-producing steppe area, ES0000170 North Mancha Steppe Area, ES0000435 Guadarrama River left bank steppe area. As is well known, public administrations are compelled to ensure the conservation status of habitats and species included in Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds, and Directive 92/43/EEC, on the conservation of natural habitats and wild fauna and flora. In these Natura 2000 sites, some farming practices, such as farming intensification and crop changes with the abandonment of rainfed herbaceous crops, have been detected. The above mentioned activities have begun to jeopardise the maintenance and conservation of steppe birds such as little bustard (Tetrax tetrax) , bustard (Otis tard), bargains (Pterocles sp) and other steppe species as well as their habitat. As a result, certain areas of these SPAs have been forced to adopt a series of environmentally friendly farming practices. These measures were launched on April 5, 2017, and are still in force.