Introduction

Detall bassa Minorca is a small island that can be characterised, from the environmental viewpoint, by its enormous biodiversity. Nearly all Mediterranean habitats are represented here, in an area of just 702 square kilometres. These habitats include particularly temporary ponds, small, rather shallow ecosystems that are filled by rainfall. Such ponds, known here as 'basses', are few in number, fragile and exclusive, and for this reason the 'Habitats Directive' considers them priority natural habitats in order to favour their conservation.

The objective of the LIFE-Nature Project ''Conservation and Management of Temporary Ponds in Minorca'', known as LIFE BASSES, is the long-term conservation of priority Mediterranean temporary ponds on the Island of Minorca.

The conservation of these temporary ponds is subject to various threats (see the section on ''Restoration and conservation'' for full details). The LIFE Basses Project aims to eradicate these threats and to study and produce the management tools necessary for the conservation of the ponds found in Minorca. To this end, the personnel of the project work in cooperation with the landowners and farmers of the areas afected by the project. The end objective is to ensure favourable conditions for their good conservation. To achieve this general objective different sets of actions have been implemented:

- Defining an integrated management model for this type of habitat: management plans.

- Carrying out an in-depth study of the dynamic and evolution of these habitats in order to increase our understanding of them.

- Restoring and regenerating temporary ponds that have become degraded or that have disappeared.

- Informing and raising awareness amongst the general public about the importance of conserving these priority habitats.