Conservation status and threats

Actuacions de gestió The main objectives of implementing a series of practical actions are to control and eradicate the threats that face temporary ponds and to mitigate the adverse impact these cause.

The presence of too much shrub vegetation around a temporary pond can create excessive shade, whilst generating excessive input of organic material can finally cause eutrophication of the water, with the subsequent lack of oxygen. The presence of cattle around these habitats helps to regulate the vegetation around them in a natural way. However, the abandonment of livestock farming activities favours excessive growth of shrubs. It is in such cases that the LIFE BASSES has implemented actions to clear sites using both manual and mechanical methods.

On the other hand, continuous livestock grazing around other temporary ponds or the direct effects of aggressive farming practices (constant clearing, deep furrows, etc) may cause alteration to the habitat. In such cases, systems of enclosure has been adopted as appropriate in order to control the effects of these threats. Dry stone walls have been built and where traditional enclosure structures have become deteriorated, these have been repaired.

In other cases, particularly temporary ponds located on the coastal strip, the influence of human overcrowding and the existence of access roads for motor vehicles are the main threat. The project has drawn up a proposal for regulating access to temporary ponds and some closings have been done.

Drainage using canals and channels dug into the earth are one of the most commonly used methods for drying flooded areas for use as crop farming land, with the subsequent disappearance of the habitat. In these cases, the action is the eradication of the drainage system.

The proliferation of invasive exotic species is another threat to temporary ponds, with devastating effects on their flora and fauna. Here, actions under the LIFE BASSES project have focused on controlling and eliminating such invasive exotic species and on implementing appropriate surveillance work to monitor sites once these species have been eradicated.