The European Commission is urging Spain to stop the deterioration of natural habitats in the area around the Doñana National Park, home to several Natura 2000 sites, resulting mainly from the overexploitation of aquifers, a porous deposit of rock that feed the wetlands.
An estimated 1,000 illegal boreholes have been draining the aquifer of one of Europe’s most important wetlands.
Mid-March.... spring migrating birds are on the move while resident and summer species are gearing up for another breeding season in the Algarve’s Lagoa dos Salgados.
Something else is in the air now too: fresh hope that greater care will soon be given to this coastal lagoon, reports Len Port.*
The area of land, lake and wetland between Herdade dos Salgados and Armação de Pêra, home to a wide diversity of species and on the edge of pitched battle between environmentalists and property company Finalgarve, is to be tended, developed and publicised using a major grant from Toyota.
The nature and citizenship conservation of protected areas project "will take place in two important areas for birds and biodiversity; Lagoa dos Salgados (Albufeira/Silves) and Barrinha de Esmoriz/Lagoa de Paramos (Ovar/Espinho)," according to the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA).
Picked up from the blog written by Mr Frank McClintock of the specialist boutique eco-hotel 'Paradise in Portugal,' legal protection for the Salgados wildlife area near Armaçao de Pêra, Silves is being sought "but we are not out of the woods yet."
"Salgados - this is the wetland in between Armação and Albufeira that we’ve been trying to save from being destroyed by over-rapacious development.
For the tens of thousands who signed the Algarve's 'Save Salgados' petition, news of progress has been sporadic with long periods of silence but this does not mean that nothing has been going on.
Salgados is the local term for the Praia Grande development whose proponent, Finalgarve, has been keen to get permission to develop the countryside site, the last untouched area of coastal wetland in the Algarve.
Maritime Police officers have seized more than 30 illegal fishing traps that had been set to catch eels, shrimp and fish in the Salgados lagoon, according to a report in Sul Informaçao.
Officers discovered nearly 40 kilos of dead eels, 20 turtles, numerous frogs, a dead bird and dozens of kilos of shrimp and crayfish, most of which were dead.
Founded in 2006 by António de Sousa and Fernando Esmeraldo, ECS is a private equity and restructuring company focused on the Portuguese market and manages three funds where it aims to ‘generate sustainable long term returns.’
ECS hit the headlines when it bought the derelict Salgados hotel and conference centre near Gale, assets of the CS Group (Carlos Saraiva), via its Tourism Recovery Fund, one of three funds focused on ‘acquiring defaulted or impaired corporate credits in order to recover companies with sustainable business models.’
This year’s Sagres Birdwatching Festival starts on October 2 and is the largest such event in Portugal.
The successful festival format is sponsored by Vila do Bispo council, the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA) and eco-group ALMARGEM.