OVER one hundred rare bird species are threatened by the new planned Ronda-Marbella motorway.
The controversial road would pummel right through Sierra Bermeja’s conservation zone, said Spain’s main bird conservation society, SEO.
The habitat of the gravely threatened Bonelli’s Eagle is among the areas earmarked for the road.
The eagle has practically died out in northern Spain. Stable colonies now only exist only in Andalucia and Extremadura.
SEO was one of the many environmental groups to lodge their objections to the new road link between Malaga’s coast and mountainous interior.
The public consolation period for the project ended in late November.
But ecologists have asked the Junta to extend it as no notices have been displayed in the villages along the planned route.
In any case, the new motorway appears to have fallen off the government’s list of priorities amid widespread opposition and tightening public spending.
The 350 million euros required for the road is yet to be included in the Junta’s public works budget.
Sierra Bermeja is home to around 150 different birds: 25 of them are protected by EU laws and 117 by national or regional Spanish legislation.
Environmentalists say the new motorway will destroy decades of conservation work and open up huge swathes of land to property speculation.
They propose expanding existing railways and roads as an alternative.
This relentless passion by Spanish national and autonomous governments to destroy large unbroken areas of pristine wildlife habitat continues unabated.
Building new roads, more golf courses and holiday villages is not the answer. Invest, develop and beleive in eco-tourism. There is so much around us here in Spain that we have to educate people and show the real beauty and diversity of this rich part of our planet.
It’s the only way forward for future generations and our fragile eco-systems.
Making Ronda and its surroundings more accessible depletes the object of a visit to the area in the first place. How many beautiful areas of the coast and its villages have already been covered in concrete? Ronda has already expanded massively since my first visit over 10 yrs ago.
Dead right, Russ. Ronda has changed much in the last decade, but it still offers something different to the coast; as you say, one of the reasons for visiting in the first place. Build the motorway and that difference will start to disappear.
Politicians argue that a new road will provide lots of jobs; will improve journey times for all the workers who choose to live inland but work on the coast; and bring more tourists to Ronda and the Serranía. All no doubt true, but at what cost to the environment?
Didn’t I read recently that blasting a route through the Sierra Bermeja could release lethal asbestos into the atmosphere?
Forget the motorway and invest in eco-tourism, as Stephen Daly suggests.