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Nature reserve endangered

Illegal construction work in the nature reserve Lagunas de La Mata at Torrevieja has been discovered and reported to the police.

The reported works. Photo: AHSA

The reported works. Photo: AHSA

Environmentalists discovered the construction work while observing the bird life on the eastern side of the lagoon. They raised the alarm to the local environmental protection association AHSA (La Asociación de Amigos de los Humedales del Sur de Alicante), which in turn made a Report to Seprona (Servicio de Protección de la Naturaleza) which is the Guardia Civil’s Department of nature protection.

The affected area is over 13 hectares and is located at the laguna de La Mata in the municipality of Guardamar del Segura. There have been major earthworks in an area covered by a protection plan for wetlands in the Alicante the province and in this area all such works are prohibited. According to AHSA, the works is also a violation of the regional regulations for the protection of nature and birdlife in the Comunidad Valenciana.

Aside from the obvious damage already inflicted on the nature, fear is now high that the winter rain and wind will cause further damage. If there is a lot of rain the risk is obvious that the perched dug earth flows into the lagoon and in the adjacent wetlands and that mud will be deposited.

At the time of writing it is not known who is behind these construction works.

Part of the digging job that has been reported. Photo: AHSA

Part of the digging job that has been reported. Photo: AHSA

Facts
The nature reserve Lagunas de La Mata in Torrevieja is located in the province of Alicante and is on 3743 acres. It consists of two salt lakes which are separated by an anticlinal (folded ridge), the lakes are connected with the sea via a canal that was built to take advantage of salt mined there since the 1300s. There is a rich bird life in the nature reserve. Particularly there are many flamingos in the nesting period, which may constitute of nearly 2,000 individuals.