The Great Mountain Corridor is an idea to create a vast ecological corridor connecting the Cantabrian Mountains, the Pyrenees and the Alps, and possibly eventually, the Balkans, along which wolves, bears and other animals could roam relatively unhindered.
The GMC is a 1300-kilometre swathe of land connecting the Cantabrian mountains in Spain to the Italian Alps via the Pyrenees and Massif Central in France. It might even be extended into the Carpathian mountains of eastern Europe. “It’s not unrealistic to think that in 20 years there could be a good corridor between the Iberian Peninsula and the Balkans,” says Miquel Rafa of Obra Social Caixa Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, a charitable organisation that is promoting the project. Some of the land in the proposed corridor is already protected, and Rafa’s aim is to fill in the gaps. Over the past decade, his organisation has spent 8 million euro buying 80 square kilometres of land between the Cantabrians and the Pyrenees. He estimates that only another 80 square kilometres is needed to complete that part of the corridor. There are already success stories to report. Last year, a wolf from the Cantabrian mountains was spotted in the Pyrenees, not far from one of many packs that arrived there from the French Alps around 10 years ago – the first wolves in the Pyrenees since the 1930s. These packs made a hazardous crossing of the Rhone valley, parts of which are industrialised. It will be remarkable if groups from the Cantabrians and French Alps meet and breed in the Pyrenees, says Rafa, as the populations have been separated for over 800 years. To win local support, Rafa and colleagues have also provided shepherds with Pyrenean mountain dogs, a muscular breed that will defend livestock against wolves. More here from New Scientist article nabbed here “Megaconservation: Saving wildernesses on a giant scale”
See also Territori i Paisatge here