ENVIRONMENTALISTS have had their feathers ruffled over a ‘crazy’ tourist scheme that will drive rare birds away from Ronda’s celebrated Tajo gorge.
Green groups insist that the plan to allow tame birds of prey to fly over the famous gorge will endanger the nesting sites of existing species, including peregrine falcons, red billed choughs and alpine swifts.
SEO Birdlife and Ecologistas en Acción are strongly opposed to the falconry project backed by Ronda town hall, which could see eagles and vultures soaring over the gorge.
“It is impossible to predict the exact impact which the presence of those birds will have on the local bird colonies,” said Juan Terroba, from Ecologistas en Accion.
“But we believe it will lead to local colonies leaving the site, panicking over their territory and possibly affecting fertility levels.
SEO coordinator Juan Oñate, added: “We prefer birds such as these to be free and observed in their natural habitat.”
His group has suggested another location on the other side of town, which is also frequented by tourists and would not have such a disastrous impact on local fauna.
But the promoters, who are hoping to launch the spectacle in the coming weeks, are reluctant to move.