This week we travel to the Valencian Community to visit the Natural Park of Marjal de Pego-Oliva. This natural area of 1,255 hectares is a wetland, very close to the sea, located between the provinces of Valencia and Alicante. Declared a natural park in 1994, this wetland is also included in the Ramsar Convention for the worldwide protection of wetlands, forms part of the Natura 2000 Network and is also a Special Protection Area for birds (both nesting and passage species). Some rare bird species, such as the Squacco Heron, the Purple Gallinule, the Marbled Teal or the White-faced Tern, find their place here.

With two rivers running through it (the Bullent and the Racons), together with numerous tributaries and springs that provide it with permanent water, this wetland has a rich biodiversity due to its strategic location and the quality of its waters, in which the most important population of white water lily in the Valencian Community stands out, as well as one of the most stable populations of samaruc (endemic fish of the Mediterranean) in the region.

But in addition to its natural values, the Park combines uses such as livestock farming (which helps in the conservation of the marshes), rice crops and even hunting at certain times of the year, making this protected area an example of management and use.

Today we meet Fran Panella, a livestock enthusiast who, for some years now, has been collaborating in the conservation of the Marjal de Pego-Oliva Natural Park. Do you want to know how? Be sure to watch this episode to find out how traditional livestock ranching helps to conserve and improve the environment of this coastal wetland in the Valencian Community.