The pseudo-steppes of Catalonia
The steppes, a biome still well represented in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, have completely disappeared in Western Europe, where the closest thing that resembles it, is a habitat modified for centuries, technically called "pseudo-steppe". This semi-natural and fragile landscape is made up of extensive rainfed crops, mostly cereals, where some plots are left unsown for several seasons. This type of cultivation reproduces, up to a certain extent, the conditions of wild grasslands. These areas hold one of the highest proportions of declining bird species in Europe, such as the Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax), Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus), Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus), European Roller (Coracias garrulus), Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra) and Iberian Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis). These are birds with very specific ecological requirements making them especially vulnerable. The primary cause of the declining numbers of these species is the rapid land-use change.