Mountain grasslands in southern Europe are facing a loss of biodiversity due to landscape closure. Rural migration and land abandonment are leading to the progressive reforestation of these pastures and to an increase in the risk of fire, which results in the degradation of habitats and species specific to these regions. In northern Portugal, combined actions of targeted grazing and clearing are implemented to reduce these risks and preserve mountain biodiversity.
Targeted grazing and clearing, like controlled burning, are traditional practices in mountain agriculture, as illustrated by the OREKA MENDIAN’s booklet of good practices on mountain grasslands. However, they have sometimes been lost due to the lack of transfer of pastoral knowledge. In the face of the increased risk of fire in the mountains due to climate change, these practices are techniques to be replicated in order to reduce this risk by maintaining open landscapes to preserve mountain habitats and species.
Read about the experiments at the Mirandela pilot site in our good practice.20 October 2021