Name of the site: Mendaur
Protection categories: Listed as Protected Non-developable Land due to its Environmental Value, Wetlands, in Navarre’s Land Planning Programme 2 “Atlantic Navarre”.
Location: Between Ituren and “Facería 87”
Coordinate reference: 30TXN0379, 30TXN0479
Surface area of the wetland: 4.11 hectares
Altitude: 934-1,100 m
The site, covering approximately 4 ha, consists of two distinct areas: one very large area halfway up the slope of Monte Mendaur (Area A) and another, much smaller one on the Bustiz pass (Area B).
Area A includes a set of springs with their flow channels and is surrounded by meadows and blocks of rock. Area B, on the other hand, consists of a platform with flowing spring water points, which drain via a stream into the gully.
There are also sphagnums on the almost-vertical rock faces on the crest of the summit of Monte Mendaur, which are covered with heath dominated by bilberry.
There are reed beds of Juncus effusus and Scutellaria minor, communities of Sphagnum auriculatum and Narthecium ossifragum, and communities of Sphangum papillosum and Erica tetralix in the spring outflows, around the small streams on the hillside and on the Bustiz pass. Soldanella villosa and Ranunculus omiophyllus can also be found in the outflows.
Peat-forming environments do not develop on the wet rocks in the area of the summit, but there are populations of sphagnums in the wetter and better conserved areas. In addition to the sphagnums, the great wealth of bryophyte species in general, some of which are of special interest, is noteworthy.
- MOST IMPORTANT VALUES
The Mendaur site stands out because it is home to plant species specific to mires, areas with Erica tetralix and also, bryophyte communities of particular interest on the wet rock faces in the summit area.
Biological and ecological values
The most notable vascular plant is Soldanella villosa, a species included in Annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive, and also listed in the Catalogue of Endangered Flora in Navarre.
The wet rocks near the summit, particularly those most to the north, at a greater distance from human influence, are also worthy of note. They are home to a wealth of flora, particularly as far as Atlantic bryophytes are concerned (Kurzia trichoclados, Odontoschisma sphagni, Sphagnum quinquefarium, Bazzania tricrenata, Bazzania trilobata, Racomitrium lanuginosum, Douinia ovata, etc.). Rocks of this kind are scarce both in Navarre and on the Bay of Biscay seaboard; similar sites in Navarre can be found, for example, in Pikuda, at the watershed.
Historical and paleoecological values
The peat-forming habitats in Mendaur do not possess significant deposits from a paleoecological point of view.
Habitats of Community Interest
Hábitat 4030 Brezales secos europeos 6230* Formaciones herbosas con Nardus, con numerosas especies, sobre sustratos silíceos de zonas montañosas (y de zonas submontañosas de la Europa continental) 6410 Prados con molinias sobre sustratos calcáreos, turbosos o arcillo-limónicos (Molinion caeruleae) 7140 «Mires» de transición
The most noteworthy feature of the Mendaur site as far as flora is concerned is the presence of Soldanella villosa, listed in Annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive, and also in the Catalogue of Endangered Flora in Navarre, and Huperzia selago, which is included in Annex V of the Habitats Directive and is relatively scarce in Navarre.
Other notable species which have been cited at the site include Arnica montana (García et al. 1985: 39) and Trichophorum caespitosum subsp. germanicum (Catalán & Aizpuru 1986: 166), amongst others.
Another noteworthy presence is that of Atlantic bryophytes such as Kurzia trichoclados, Odontoschisma sphagni, Sphagnum quinquefarium, Bazzania tricrenata, Bazzania trilobata, Racomitrium lanuginosum, Douinia ovata, etc.
59 species of vascular plant and 38 bryophyte species, of which four are sphagnums, have been recorded.
Specific information regarding the fauna at the Mendaur mire is not available.