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Threats to the Coto Donana

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Offline John C

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« on: March 03, 2009, 20:10 PM »
I appreciate that for some readers none of what follows is news since there have been concerns about the Coto Donana for some while, but it seems timely to raise the issue again in this, the 40th anniversary year of the establishment of the park.  The following is a digest from an article in the ever excellent “Olive Press” (http://www.theolivepress.es)

Evidently threats include:-
•    Urban development – where in Spain isn’t this an issue?
•    Industrial development – particularly the development of an oil refinery in coastal Huelva
•    Shipping – dredging the Guadalquivir
•    Agriculture - particularly strawberry farming – a big business in Huelva where a sixth of strawberry fields have been planted, illegally on public land.  According to some pundits irrigating this crop (via illegal bore holes) may reduce the water supply to Donana by as much as 50%
•    Arboriculture – the owner of nearby farmland (2,000 hectares) plans to plant eucalyptus trees which are notorious for sucking up ground water. 

 According to Luc Hoffmann the park is more under threat than when he helped to established it -  “Today, there are more threats and more pressure upon the park. It is surrounded by housing estates and agriculture is taking its toll upon the wetlands,”

« Last Edit: March 03, 2009, 23:14 PM by Clive »

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2009, 02:03 AM »
Greetings John,
Thanks for that (?).
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, knowing full well that I'm not the first person to point it out, that Spain - and possibly the whole Ib. Pen. (but I don't have objective data) - while superficially one of the most amazingly beautiful and unique places in Europe as regards variety of fauna & flora and "protected" surface area, is also one of the places where such natural phenomena are extremely vulnerable in many cases and at most risk in some cases. :banghead:

As you point out, there are multiple reasons for this unfortunate state of affairs, including one which I think belongs high up on your list of threats as it worries me even more than the others:
complacency (Merriam-Webster)

People here love to rave & rant about natural resources here as if it were all thanks to them and that such wealth was due to their individual and collective efforts. At the very best, they take it for granted.

This is of course similar to the way they r&r 'bout the Mediterranean diet, which very few Spaniards actually follow  :dancing:

Awareness-raising is where it's at - but then you get accused of being negative and exaggerated :technodevil: at best, or en el peor de los casos interfering in matters that as a foreigner don't concern you...

The case of Doñana is especially worrying as it is flaunted as the buque insignia of Spain's wildlife conservation and a model of best practices, yet we have only to see the vulnerability of lynx, and the invasive species that crop up to appreciate how delicate it all is. Castillo de naipes just about sums it up. :'(

And it's an issue that cannot be raised often enough  :sign:

Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:

Offline lisa

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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2010, 09:53 AM »
On World Wetlands day, WWF Spain ballooned over Doñana to highlight the illegal 1,000 wells draining these wetlands using the water to irrigate crops such as strawberries and cotton.
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
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The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Offline Clive

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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2014, 10:04 AM »
Excellent update with the good (and bad) news from Aznalcollar and Doñana Nacional park area on the BBC radio 4 programme “Costing the Earth”. Although ending with a warning for the future as is almost always the case it is good to hear that the clean up from the chemical spill took a relatively short time and nature very quickly bounced back.


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Offline steveT

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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 23:19 PM »

Sorry to have missed this thread. I thought the green corridor was interesting. I had heard of it before but hadnt realised what a serious structure/positive legacy of the disaster it has become. I've have looked at it with Google Earth ..... could it ever be used as link for the recolonisation of the eastern Sierra Morena by the Donana lynx? Its about 500m wide on average???


Offline steveT

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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2014, 10:47 AM »
Re above post

Sorry I meant Western Sierra Morena ........ Never Eat Shredded Wheat .................