I passed the rambla de Chirivel yesterday and yes this too. All of them. What I don't understand is that there was plant life specific to the rambla growing there. Non of it was fantastically unusual I admit, but it did represent diversity.
I suspect the next step will be to import the cast off boulders from the marble quarries in an attempt to shaw up the steep sandy banks where the bee eaters nest. This has already been done in some places.
Years ago I knew a wood carver. He said 'never try to force wood to bend your will, it will always return'. I think we could apply this to rambla too.
I look forward to hearing what Jesus will say.
Dear friends, only for the mention to my name, that I decide to give my personal opinion publicly... but as you know, I don´t like polemics because an only truth does never exist. I say again, that it´s only my "personal opinion".
(Sorry for my spanglish...
I know very well this area, and it is one of the best preserved of Almería. Any action with hidrologic plans there, is always very finely thinked by the environmental authorities, and water, in these moments is a delicate topic, because it is not raining this year.
I don´t know exactly about this jobs in los Velez, but be very sure that the endangered anphibians areas are not being alterated. Landscape can be altered at a first view, but in some months everything regenerates by itself.
Consider also that erosion levels, because of the nature of the lands, is very high... and sometimes man action is needed to preserve ecosystems, although I don´t know exactly what they are doing there at the place of reference. Wildlife in the peresent at this area is very linked to the presence of humans (vultures, Pelodytes toad, small birds, crows...); everyone of them would have serious problems without the hand-made ecosystems or artificial feeding (vultures).
About anphibians there, you only can find iberian frog (except in determined protected areas) because toads goes down to earth in soft lands, and they flee for new places when machines begins to work. Reptiles also goes out quickly and replace in near places. Birds has no problem, if it is not the breeding season... sometimes it is good for some birds, because they come to the altered land, looking for excavated insects that has come to the surface, giving them added nutrients.
From inmemorial times, the ramblas has been worked in Spain as ways for the mules or cars, for avoiding fires, for chanelling water... this is nothing new here, and it is not bad, always when vegetation around is not alterated and protected areas are respected. Nevertheless, vegetation comes again up and every place continues its ecollogical rithm, if we do not continually clean the rambla.
These hand-made actions are not worst than the natural ones, when the storms rambles out everything in them. I think that the only impact (except in protected areas, logically) is the visual impact on landscape (temporarily).
People always look (myself included) the damages that does our neighbours, but don´t think that ourselves, with our cars and building our own houses, causes the same damages. In this way, every alteration is good for some species and bad for others. For example, if you destroy a land and make there a big balsa, it can be horrible for the steparic birds, but soon there will come to rest in migration or feeding, acuatic ones, and anphibians will have a place... and so on with every considered topic.
More examples, when a village is transformed in a town... some species go out to other places, what does not mean that they dissapear or suffer damages in their populations, but in its place in some years, there will appear other new inhabitantas, as swifts and other antropic ones.
I hate personally the alteration of the land, but ecologically we must consider many logic aspects. A rambla that is full of closed vegetation is very important, but also drinks the few water that can run in it, so the rambla in its lower side can become dry, altering ecosistems for other species living there.
So, it is very complicated to get in a correct position thinking about this, but I´m sure that this topic commented about los Velez is not seriously damaging nature, but helping human populations living there, for getting water for their growings... growings that also are good for feeding birds and other animals.
Nature is always able to find its own balance, humankind included, always that we do not abuse excesively.
I want to consider finally that always, in these great works, there some animals that die, but how many moths, grasshopers, flies, butterflies... etc we kill every time we put our car in the road?... this is only an example, we could talk about lots more.
Hope it can be useful.