PRO-Izki - Ecosystem Management of the Izki Quercus pyrenaica forest and habitats and species of community interest related to it.

LIFE10 NAT/ES/000572

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Fernando CAMARA RODRIGUEZ
Tel: +34 945 181851
Fax: +34 945 181915
Email: pro-izki@hazi.es

Project description:


Izki Natural Park lies on a high plateau surrounded by mountains in the very far southeast of Alava. It contains a rich variety of fauna and flora, including some of the most representative Iberian species and habitats. It covers 9 081 ha, of which 3 500 ha is the largest forest of Pyrenean oak trees (Quercus pyrenaica) in Europe. The absence of nearby population centres and access roads has left the park virtually untouched. The oak woods thus provide ideal habitat for several important species of wild animals, including middle spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius), Bechstein's bat (Myotis bechsteinii) and the agile frog (Rana dalmatina). There are also large numbers of free ranging cattle and horses. However, encroachment by acidophilic beech is a potential threat to these oak woods. Furthermore, Izki is home to an important representation of ‘depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion’ (7150), which are pioneer communities of humid exposed peat or sometimes sand with the presence of the Rhynchospora genus of fungi. This is unique in the Natura 2000 network within the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country.


The PRO-Izki project’s overall objective is the long-term favourable conservation of the Pyranean oak forest and all the habitats and species of community and regional interest that depend on this ecosystem in Izki Natural Park. The project will test different management practices for the protection of the Pyrenean oak on designated plots in an area of 210 ha. These will aim to increase seed regeneration and trunk strength of the species and thus improve its ability to resist replacement by the surrounding acidophilic beech. The project team will establish favourable forest structures for nesting and feeding of the middle spotted woodpecker across 50 ha. They will install 100 shelters for forest bats, particularly Bechstein's bat. They will also create six new ponds in strategic locations within the forest to encourage the metapopulation behaviour of the agile frog and provide drinking and hunting grounds for bats. The project will create five exclusion zones and establish management guidelines to control livestock pressure on bog areas. The ‘depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion’ habitats will be further enhanced by the reintroduction of brown beaksedge (Rhynchospora fusca), germinated ex-situ, in two small areas A key aspect of the project will be engagement of farming groups and local authorities and agencies in the sustainable long-term management of the resources and habitats of the oak forests. It will also raise awareness of the local population in the value of the project area through initiatives such as a signposted bird watching itinerary.

Expected results:

    • Ensured long-term permanence of the Pyrenean oak forest habitat in Izki;
    • Improved colonisation ability and dispersal within the forest habitat of the three target fauna species. Management plans will be agreed for these species;
    • The achievement of favourable conservation status for restored and maintained bog habitats, particularly depressions on peat substrates; and
    • Improved engagement of key stakeholders with long-term sustainable management of the project area and the Natura 2000 network.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Forests


forest ecosystem‚  nature conservation

Target species

 Dendrocopos medius   Myotis bechsteinii   Rana dalmatina 

Target Habitat types

  • 7140 - Transition mires and quaking bogs
  • 7150 - Depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion
  • 9230 - Galicio-Portuguese oak woods with Quercus robur and Quercus pyrenaica

Natura 2000 sites

SCI ES2110019 Izki



Coordinator Diputación Foral de Álava
Type of organisation Local authority
Description The Diputación Foral de Álava, is the administrative body of Álava province, the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, Spain.
Partners IKT Nekazal Teknologia S.A., Spain


Project reference LIFE10 NAT/ES/000572
Duration 01-JAN-2012 to 30-SEP -2015
Total budget 1,112,695.00 €
EU contribution 556,348.00 €
Project location País Vasco(España)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Video link Project's video (23')
Video link Project's video


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version