The Balearic Government chaired by Marga Prohens has launched a first initiative to try to save the birdlife of the S’Albufera de Mallorca Natural Park, a natural space of extraordinary ecological value that is dying due to lack of water and pollution. Now the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Natural Environment has enabled two new islands for breeding and resting waterfowl. The islands have a circular shape and a surface area, between them, of just over 200 m2. It is expected that, during the spring of next year, they will be occupied by different species of waterfowl for nesting.
Until then, they can also be used as a rest area. In fact, groups of common stilt (Himantopus himantopus), redshank (Tringa totanus) and redshank (Tringa nebularia), among other rarer species, have already been seen.
The increasing pollution of the Albufera is causing some species of waterfowl to move to other, healthier spaces. Due to the lack of water, what remains in the canals tends to increase the excess of salts and nutrients that is causing the escape of species.
The increase in pollution is due to the use of fertilizers on farms around the Park and the discharge of wastewater from the Muro torrents, especially the Sant Miquel torrent, where the poorly purified waters of Sa Pobla are discharged.
The new islands have been enabled in Els Colombars, an area that has been affected by the increasing salinization process that s’Albufera is suffering. Given the loss of the reed beds, the area is now being enabled so that it can be used by species other than those that traditionally inhabited it.
This is not the first time that islands have been created in this protected natural area. In fact, in s’Albufera there are already more than twenty, although some are much smaller than those that have been enabled this August. All of them have been quickly accepted by the fauna and each year they breed several species of waterfowl, a fact that ensures that the new islets will also have notable success.
Among the species that use them most when breeding are the common stilt (Himantopus himantopus), the common avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), the snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) and the common tern (Sterna hirundo). More than 200 pairs of these and other species breed on the islets.
In addition, on one of the two islands created, the saltwater and samphire vegetation will be allowed to grow while waiting for the gray teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris), a small duck typical of brackish areas that is in danger of extinction, to also select it. time to make their nests.
This action is part of the ‘Project to improve the nesting habitat of the gray teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris), which was presented by the Species Protection Service of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Natural Environment in the call for the Heritage Fund. Natural and Biodiversity for species in critical situation (2022), and has been executed by the Consortium for the Recovery of the Fauna of the Balearic Islands (COFIB), with the collaboration of the management team of the Parc Natural de s’Albufera de Mallorca.
The total cost of the action has been 36,300 euros, an investment that was approved at the Sectoral Environment Conference on June 20, 2022, with the contribution distributed 80% by the State and 20% by the Community Autonomous.
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