EUROPEAN PROJECT OF AMPHIBIAN AND AQUATIC REPTILES' HABITAT RECOVERING IN BAIX TER WETLANDS

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ENVIRONMENT


Just a few metres from the coast line and close to densely populated areas, the Lower Ter plain continues to be a rural area. It is mainly an agricultural area containing an important number of lands dedicated to irrigation crops in the Baix Empordà.

Long ago, the Daró and Ter periodically flooded the area resulting in extremely fertile lands that were gradually drained by ways of a complicated irrigation system, the construction of dykes and the canalization of parts of the river.

Nowadays, the plain (and especially the areas closer to the river) is occupied by orchards (apple, peach and pear), irrigation croplands, cereals (alfalfa, wheat, fodder) and black poplar groves. Crops that can be grown in dry areas (vineyards and olive trees) take up those areas in which water is scarce; although they tend to be abandoned and their size diminishes.


 
Agricultural plain of the Baix Ter
Detail of a field of olive trees


Moreover, in the lower area of Pals rice fields have appeared. They find that lands closer to the sea have the perfect requirements of temperature and humidity needed to grow rice. Rice fields in the Lower Ter date from the XIII century, but it is not until the end of the XVII century and beginning of the XVIII century that its cultivation intensifies mainly due to an important population explosion that reaches until the XX century. But from the 1960s onwards the number of rice fields decreased, until in the mid 1980s they recovered and nowadays they occupy nearly 300 hectares.

 
Rice field in Basses d'en Coll