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BIODIVERSITY PROGRAM
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CICONIA PROJECT
Because of the different alterations that the nature in the Basque Country has undergone during centuries, the landscape or the structure and the operation of the ecosystems are quite far from their original configuration. So that, many species which long time ago were abundant or, at least, common in our territory, have seen decreased their populations, reduced their areas of distribution and even, in some cases, they are extinguished.

There are some information about ir:
• A total of 151 plants are included in the Basque catalogue of threatened species .
  • A total of 145 vertebrates are included in the Basque catalogue of threatened species.   • 40 flora and fauna species of the Basque Autonomous Community are included between the most threatened species in Europe (Director Habitats).
   
The Biodiversity Program tries to contribute to improve the situation of the most threatened species. For it, many studies about species abundance, distribution and ecology are made and projects to reinforce populations, to reinsert species and to handle the territory for the conservation of the fauna and the flora are executed.

PROJECT CICONIA

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The White Stork is a great bird (Weight: 2,7-4,5 kg; Spread: 200-210 cm). Males and females have the same appearance: white body, white and black wings, and red beak and legs.

It lives in open lands and builds nests in trees and human constructions. It feeds on insects, frogs, snakes, mice, moles and fishes.

The White Stork lives in the western side of the Iberian Peninsula but there are very little in the Cantabrian Coast. It is a typically migratory species, that hibernates in sub-Sahara Africa. However, more and more specimens spend the winter in the Iberian Peninsula.

The European populations of White Stork diminished alarmingly from the Fifties. Fortunately, in last the two decades an important recovery of the populations of the Iberian Peninsula has taken place. Although nowadays they build nests in the Basque Country a little more than 20 pairs, in the territory of Bizkaia they raise only in Orduña and Durango. In the Reserve of the Biosphere of Urdaibai they are observed only during the migratory passings, since a century ago the storks stopped to build nests in its towers and belfries.
The PROJECT CICONIA aims for the providement of the establishment of a stable nesting population of White Stork in the reserve of the Biosphere of Urdaibai to favor the process of recovery of this species in Bizkaia.
The project is carried out in the Center of Atxaga (Forua-Kortezubi), and consists of the maintenance of storks in captivity and its later freeing after two years. For it a great cage has been constructed in an open country-alder grove. They are young specimens that, by diverse reasons (having felt of the nest, weakness...), have entered in fauna recovery centres. These spacimens come from the Wild Fauna Recovery Center of Vallcalent (Lleida), dependent on the Generalitat of Catalunya. To help in their establishment in the region several artificial nests have been built.
     
The activities of environmental education in the scholastic centers of the zone are essential in the project. For it informal lectures are offered in schools and ikastolas and guided visits are organized to the facilities. In addition, with the intention of informing to the inhabitants a noticeboard has been settled.    
Finantziazioa:
  Provincial Council of Bizkaia Gernika´s town hall Forua´s town hall Kortezubi´s town hall
         
Kolaboradoreak: Galtzagorriak and Egur eta Harri, S.L.   :  
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• PC 172, Gernika 48300 Bizkaia • 94 405 21 86 - 606 14 18 37 •