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The Sierra de Ordunte mountain range, the westernmost in Bizkaia, is an Special Area of Conservation included in Natura 2000, the European ecological network whose mission is to protect the most important zones in Europe in terms of the habitats and species to be found there. Some unusual habitats have developed there, given that the Encartaciones region is rather cut off geographically speaking, along with the sandy nature of the land, the high rainfall rate and the persistent fog on the summits.

The uniqueness of this area is mainly due to the fact that it is home to the Zalama blanket bog, the only one of its kind in the Basque Autonomous Community.  This type of habitat is typical of the regions in western and northern Europe, but is extremely rare in Spain and Portugal. Apart from the blanket bog, Ordunte is home of other peat bog areas of great interest. In fact, it is the Basque SCI with the highest concentration of this type of habits, which boast important botanical species that are unique in the Basque Country, such as the Eriophorumvaginatum [Tussock Cottongrass], catalogued as being in danger of extinction.

Mainly beech and oak groves are to be found in the ravines and water courses, but there are also fine examples of alder groves. These natural woodlands shelter species of fern of community interest.

Given the pressure on the area and the need to maintain the specific wealth to be found there, the European Commission approved the "Sustainable Ordunte" project submitted by Bizkaia Provincial Council, under the LIFE+ Programme, a financial instrument that seeks to contribute to the development, implementation and updating environmental and nature conservation policies.

Sustainable Ordunte LIFE+


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