RIO CHILLAR, nestled in Malaga’s picturesque landscape, faces a dual threat as drought and overcrowding cast a shadow on its once vibrant ecosystem.

With crystal-clear waters, picturesque landscapes, and diverse flora and fauna, Rio Chillar has become a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Beyond its recreational charm, Rio Chillar also plays a vital role as an ecosystem, supporting a rich variety of plant and animal species, making it a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts with its diverse avian life.

However, the region’s drought has taken a toll on Rio Chillar, leaving it with an alarmingly reduced stream and near depletion of its ecological flow.

This situation has serious consequences for the biodiversity of the river, including protected species like the Betica midwife toad and various aquatic arthropods and flora species like Galium viridiflorum and Cneorum tricoccum.

To compound the challenges, the river is facing a surge in overcrowding, adversely impacting its delicate ecosystem.

Irresponsible visitor behavior, pollution, and insufficient access control have exacerbated the situation, leading to the disappearance of protected plants and a decline in the reproduction of certain species.

Environmental experts, such as Rafael Yus from Ecologists in Action, emphasise the need for strict control over visitor numbers and responsible management to preserve the river’s biodiversity.

Although efforts have been made to conduct a carrying capacity study, concrete regulations are yet to be implemented to address the overcrowding issue effectively.

Local authorities, including the Nerja Town Council, recognize the significance of addressing the problem and aim to limit daily access to a reduced number of visitors, striving to strike a balance between tourism and environmental preservation.


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