HomeTypes of actionC. Management of the river habitatC.2. The reconnection and ecological improvement of oxbow lakes.

C.2. The reconnection and ecological improvement of oxbow lakes.

The construction of the river Arga canal in the eighties artificially cut off the meanders coming under this present action plan. Since then, these meanders have undergone a slow process of deterioration. The lack of water has led to the desiccation of the associated riparian woodlands and the infill of the former river bed with fine sediments. The hydrological reconnection of the meanders during flooding will make it possible to remove the fine sediment from the former river bed whilst the target habitats will be flooded, thereby ensuring their natural conservation and regeneration.

The difference in height between the current river bed and the remnant meanders will mean that the flow will only be restored during normal flooding (2 - 3 times a year), however this will be sufficient to revitalise the natural dynamics of these unique areas, which are of tremendous importance to the conservation of the European mink (Mustela lutreola).

The reconnection shall be made by excavating the entrance of the former river bed (now blocked off) or by clearing the infrastructures preventing the water circulation: earth embankments, cross pathways, etc. The work is to be carried out on the following remnant meanders:

  • Soto de La Muga (Peralta)
  • Soto de Santa Eulalia (Peralta)
  • Sotosardilla (Funes)

The remnant meanders are the preferred breeding habitat for the European mink, providing shelter and acting as a hunting area. In addition, there are also populations of otters (Lutra lutra), European pond turtles (Emys orbicularis), purple heron (Ardea purpurea), black crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) which regularly use these habitats and which will benefit from the restoration of these unique environments. The actions are to be carried out during the low-water months of August and September.


    Gestión Ambiental de Navarra, S.A. Fundación Crana Tragsa


    Gobierno de Navarra Gobierno de España

LIFE+ Environmental Recovery of the River Territory: a vital area for the European Mink (Mustela lutreola) | LIFE+ MINK TERRITORY