Pyrenean oak

9230. Galician-Portuguese Oak groves with the Quercus robur and Quercus pyrenaica.

In Izki

This deciduous forest of marcescence tendency is the most characteristic habitat in Izki, occupying a central position in the space and extending some 3,630 ha, 40% of its surface.

In Izki, the Pyrenean Oak exhibits a level of acceptable conservation, especially in aspects referring to surface, ecological functions and the conservation of species. Not the structure of the forest, since the age classes are not optimally represented, the fruits of past management. As a consequence, the major part of the forest has a homogeneous aspect made up of a multitude of trunks of little diameter, with an aging root system which takes away energy from the Pyrenean oak wood.

Currently, the main uses developed in these masses are the collection of wood in foguerale patchs (work which is taken advantage of to simultaneously carry out a silviculture thinning) and extensive pasturing, mainly beef ranching.

The future perspectives of this type of forest are not clear, given that this type of forest is progressively being substituted by beech.

Biodiversity Refuge

The Pyrenean oak wood is a forest habitat dominated by Quercus pyrenaica, which even in its most mature phases has a well illuminated and diverse understory.

This habitat is well represented in the Basque Country, being the Izki Mountains the place where the most extensive and best conserved masses can be found.

Some species of threatened flora in the Basque Autonomous Region appear in the heart of these forests, like in the case of the Ilex aquifolium, Narcissus group pseudonarcissus and Halimium lasianthum subsp. alyssoides.

As for fauna, it shelters species which are the objective of conservation of this project like Dendrocopos medius, Rana dalmatina and Myotis bechsteinii and others which are favoured by the same like the Lucanus cervus, Accipiter gentilis, Caprimulgus europaeus, Glis glis and Felis silvestris.