Spain bird group banned from Ronda fair over golf complex criticism

LAST UPDATED: 1 Jun, 2007 @ 07:16
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Mayor stops Spanish RSPB after hard-hitting report

A WILDLIFE group has been banned from Ronda’s May feria after issuing a hard-hitting report on the destructive impact the luxury golf complex Los Merinos will have on the area’s wildlife.SEO/Birdlife has been told its regular stall at the agricultural fair has been cancelled after it slammed the construction of the double golf course, 800-home project on UNESCO protected virgin woodland.

The Spanish equivalent of the RSPB claims the scheme will bring “irreversible transformation” to the area and is “incompatible” with the protection currently given for the rare and protected birds in the area.

The national organisation claims the area is of “maximum importance to conserve” and the current transformation of the area for foreign property buyers will “destroy” key habitats.

The study’s author, Jorge Garzon told the Olive Press: “This is a very valuable area for birds. We have been monitoring it for two decades and it is a disaster what is happening.”

The group, which was set up in 1954, has discovered an incredible 116 different species of bird inhabit the 1,000 hectare area. Among the rich bird population inhabiting the area are four different types of rare eagle, the eagle owl and the endangered rock thrush.

As well as one pair of golden eagles that uses Los Merinos as its territory, it is the perfect future breeding ground for the extremely threatened imperial eagle.

The report says the complex – which has been opposed by the Junta de Andalucía regional government and local water authority – will obliterate this important collection of birds.
“The scheme will bring an irreversible alteration of the ecology necessary to maintain the minimum conditions that guarantee the existing birdlife.

“It will lead to the disappearance of many species, as has been the case on much of the Costa del Sol where development has destroyed the natural ecosystem,” the report continues.

And, more alarmingly, it warns there may be more serious side affects if river levels were to drop as a result of the heavy water-using scheme. It could cause the loss of kingfishers on the local Guadalteba river and a dramatic loss of birds on the Guadiaro river if water from the Ronda sewage works is allowed to be used to irrigate the scheme.

The decision to ban the group from the Ronda feria was described as “petty and vindictive.”

“They welcomed us with open arms last year,” said one member, who asked not to be named.

“This year they say there is no space when the area is actually double.

“It is a lie and disgrace and shows up the sham democracy here.”

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  1. Hi…

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