Experimental Farm "La Hoya"
In 2003 the EEZA is restructured as a result of the evolution of their research. Departments are new. And it becomes necessary to have again an experimental space outdoors giving logistical support to these new lines of research.
The Strategic Plan 2010-2013 has referred to the re-creation of the La Hoya Experimental Farm as a scientifically productive unit of support and service, and whose mission is combining with the Institute as a whole. It aims to become an effective service, equipped with scientific and technical infrastructures which will stimulate their use by researchers of the EEZA and CSIC, national or foreigners. This has the following facilities:
This Experimental Farm began his career in 1950 with the acquisition by the CSIC of a plot of 18 you have at the back of the Alcazaba. His goal was that the researchers of the then Institute of acclimatization of Almeria had an infrastructure where to perform the experimental part necessary for the full development of their research. During the years 50 and 60 of the last century La Hoya was the birthplace of important scientific discoveries of high socio-economic impact: here they were tested and discovered new varieties of hybrid maize, and barley which yields much higher than normal varieties then known in the peninsula; They were tested with fungal parasites of grasses which later showed had therapeutic in sheep and cattle, achieved important results studying virus-resistant grape varieties, they were obtained for the first time in our country (in 1958) seedless grapes and assayed the first hydroponics that later so important have had for the province's economic and social development. These are just a few examples of the experimental activity which in those years was held in La Hoya and giving support to the lines of research in agricultural sciences that dominated by one the scientific activity of the Institute.
The transformation of the Institute in the 1970s in one belonging to the Area of natural resources was reflected in the decrease of the activity in the Finca de la Hoya, which was tapped in a very advantageous way by Prof. Valverde to the CSIC protagonist of the recovery of a number of species of ungulates African endangered. Born of Saharan Fauna rescue Park with one main objective: prevent the extinction of species of large ungulates which inhabited the Sahara West: Gazella dama mhorr, Gazella dorcas neglecta, Gazella cuvieri and Ammotragus lervia sahariensis. Breeding programs were then established in captivity specific coordinated by scientific and technical of the EEZA staff. The goal of these programs is to achieve, for each species, size of population and a genetic variation that ensures their future viability and allow to perform reintroduction projects in their natural habitat, like those already carried out in natural areas from different countries in North Africa (e.g., Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia).
Genetic resource bank
An important tool in the conservation of threatened species are the banks of genetic resources (sperm, oocytes, embryos). The Experimental Finca La Hoya has, since 2003, with new facilities which house the Bank of genetic resources (BRG/EEZA) Institute. It is a deposit of biological material whose management, management and study is intended to help the conservation of the species in breeding programs in captivity, being one of its objectives to supply biological material and technical support to research projects of interest for the conservation of these species. To do this it has a use regulation available to research groups interested in developing those projects which generate scientific knowledge and whose results are in the conservation of the species for which breeding programs are developed in captivity.
Through the project "Reproduction of ungulates in danger of extinction, (RUPEX)" involving researchers at the National Museum of natural sciences, the University of Castilla La Mancha and the own EEZA, have been ready protocols of freezing of semen for the three species of Gazelles. This has enabled the BRG/EEZA count today with numerous examples of frozen semen. The next step is the development of artificial insemination techniques that permit the use of these samples of semen for reproductive purposes.
In the framework of the project RUPEX the birth has been in June 2005 the first Gazelle born worldwide using the technique of artificial insemination with frozen semen
They mainly represent facilities for animal experiments. Aviaries and outdoor terrariums, which complement the animal units of interior that has the EEZA at its headquarters in the campus of the University of Almería. They conduct and animal physiology experiments are conducted. There are 12 aviaries of 2 x 2 x 2 m and a space of about 30 square meters enabled the installation of terrariums.
Facilities for carrying out experiments on ecology and plant physiology with approximate dimensions of 6x5x2m.