Ecological restoration based on natural succession and conservation education in a quarry on the Mesa de Ocaña

In Mesa de Ocaña, the ecological restoration of the mines was carried out with the aim of creating a 250 ha nature reserve, which favours the edaphological, floristic, structural and functional diversity of the regional ecosystems, creating and improving ecological niches for the regional fauna of invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The final use of the land is public, conservation-oriented, and promotes knowledge of biodiversity and environmental awareness. The ecosystem services generated are aimed at improving the initial natural capital, with the following main actions: to carry out mining and restoration activities simultaneously, to restore the series of holm oak and kermes oak woods with natural species and types of vegetation, to encourage pollination, to favour the settlement of species through hacking, to dedicate the space to public use and educational activities and, finally, to economically value the ecosystem services. The WWF Biodiversity Index and the BIRS index were used to monitor the restoration. As a result of all this work it was concluded that the previous studies allowed the identification of facilitator and restorer species of ecological processes, threatened species and those that can be used in ecological restoration; a legacy of the mining promoter was also created.

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