ENVIRONMENTALISTS have demanded the end to a motorway project that will destroy the habitat of some of the World’s rarest animals.

Officials from the Spanish branch of WWF have denounced the regional government of Extremadura over the construction of the Badajoz-Caceres highway.

The green group has criticised the road as “illegal and unsustainable” as it cuts through the protected San Pedro mountain range – home to the largest single population of Imperial eagle (20 breeding pairs) in the World.

The range is also home to 220 pairs of Black vulture – 15 per cent of the national total – and isolated groups of the endangered Iberian lynx.

“Not only is this road not needed, it is also highly damaging to the environment,” said group spokesman Luis Suarez.

The group, which hopes that sustained pressure on the Junta de Extremadura will lead to a rethink of the 400-million-euro project, claims that existing roads are sufficient for the volume of traffic that travels between the two towns.

As earlier reported in the Olive Press, central government overhauled plans for a motorway between Madrid and Andalucía as it would have cut a habitat of the lynx in two.