The regional government shows its commitment to research as an essential element for the management of wildlife and sustainable hunting activity – News from Castilla-La Mancha

The regional government shows its commitment to research as an essential element for the management of wildlife and sustainable hunting activity – News from Castilla-La Mancha
The regional government shows its commitment to research as an essential element for the management of wildlife and sustainable hunting activity – News from Castilla-La Mancha

The Minister for Sustainable Development, Mercedes Gómez, has highlighted that “Castilla-La Mancha is actively participating in experimental and innovative work in the field of hunting and wildlife, which has become a European benchmark thanks to the Institute for Research in Game Resources (IREC)”, in which García-Page’s Executive has invested nearly one million euros since he became president.

Among the most notable are projects that allow for the evaluation and mitigation of risks associated with exposure to agrochemicals in red-legged partridges; those that have led to the development of a precision irrigation system in the vineyard; or the study that analyses the impact of rodent disease on biodiversity with alternative nature-based solutions for controlling these populations.

The Government of Castilla-La Mancha is currently working with IREC on recognised projects for the adaptive management of the European turtledove, the recovery of the red-legged partridge and the Life Iberconejo, “with which we are seeking solutions to prevent the damage that this species is causing to agricultural crops in a significant part of our autonomous community”, he explained.

Ciudad Real, July 8, 2024.- The regional government has highlighted its commitment to continue promoting research “as an essential element for the management of wildlife in our Autonomous Community, in parallel with the promotion of hunting as a sustainable hunting activity.”

This was stated by the Minister for Sustainable Development, Mercedes Gómez, during her participation in the events commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Institute for Research in Game Resources (IREC), where she highlighted that, with the help of this prestigious Institute, “our region is actively participating in experimental and innovative work in the field of game and wildlife that has become a European benchmark, in which the García-Page Executive has already invested nearly one million euros since he became president”.

Gómez was referring to the various projects that are being promoted by the regional government together with IREC, a joint centre dependent on the CSIC, the University of Castilla-La Mancha and the Regional Government itself, “with which, in collaboration with the hunting sector, we also contribute to studying and researching our wild fauna and its impact on the biodiversity of our territory, to promoting that hunting is recognised as a sustainable, socially recognised and necessary hunting activity in the territory”.

IREC, an international benchmark that celebrates its 25th anniversary

The head of Sustainable Development has celebrated IREC’s 25th anniversary with the hope that it can “celebrate many more, as it is a centre that has become a world reference in the research it carries out on the region’s wildlife.”

Representing the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and accompanied by the Deputy Minister of the Environment, José Almodóvar, the Director General of Universities, Research and Innovation, Ricardo Cuevas, the Delegate for Sustainable Development in Ciudad Real, Casto Sánchez, the Director of the Regional Institute for Agri-Food and Forestry Research and Development of Castilla-La Mancha (IRIAF), José Luis Tenorio, and the Director of the Research Agency, José Antonio Castro, Gómez thanked the Director of IREC, Beatriz Arroyo, for their work and involvement, as well as all the researchers working at the Institute.

In this context, he reported that “we are already working on a new agreement that we will present to those responsible for IREC to continue promoting experimental and innovative work in hunting and wildlife.”

He also thanked the rector of the University of Castilla-La Mancha, Julián Garde, and the president of the CSIC, Eloísa del Pino, for the institutional collaboration “that is allowing us to make progress in pioneering projects that, in some cases, are being carried out for the first time in Europe.”

Multidisciplinary projects applied to wildlife management

During his speech, Gómez reinforced the commitment of the Regional Government to participate in multidisciplinary research projects applied to wildlife management and the biodiversity of the territory.

He recalled those already carried out, which, for example, “have allowed us to evaluate and mitigate risks associated with exposure to agrochemicals in red-legged partridges, which have led to the development of a precision irrigation system in the vineyard or the study that analyses the impact of the rodent disease on biodiversity, with alternative solutions based on nature for the control of these populations.”

Gómez stressed that the Junta continues to work with IREC, for example, currently jointly developing “the Adaptive Management Plan for the European Turtle Dove or the ENETWILD Project, an initiative to collect comparable data at a European level in order to analyse the risks of diseases shared between wildlife, livestock and humans.”

He also pointed out that the Ministry is participating, together with IREC, in Life Iberconejo, “with which we are seeking solutions to avoid the damage that this species is causing to agricultural crops in a significant part of our Autonomous Community” or in the report justifying the method of hunting partridge with a decoy, the genetic study and the management plan for the red-legged partridge, as well as in different studies that are being carried out for the progressive implementation of lead-free ammunition, which is being debated in the European Parliament.

Finally, the councillor indicated that all of them will contribute to promoting sustainable management of hunting activity and maintaining hunting, a fundamental activity in our rural areas. “We are a community that has 115,000 licences and hunting activity represents 1.7% of our GDP, mobilising 600 million euros a year and creating 14,000 jobs,” concluded Gómez.

 
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