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Posters were put on Sunday to raise awareness of the breeding season at the mouth of the Río Vélez in Torre del Mar. SUR
'Quiet please, we're breeding': Signs put up to help protect wildlife on Costa del Sol river delta
Nature

'Quiet please, we're breeding': Signs put up to help protect wildlife on Costa del Sol river delta

Birdwatching and environmental groups have launched a campaign to raise awareness around the mouth of the River Vélez in Torre del Mar

Eugenio Cabezas

Torre del Mar

Wednesday, 17 April 2024, 15:49

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The Vélez river delta on the beach between Torre del Mar and Almayate on the eastern stretch of the Costa del Sol is an area covering some 35 hectares, south of the old N-340 road. The area is home to almost 30 endangered species and as such it is of enormous ecological and environmental value. However, it is under constant threat of human activity including intensive agriculture under plastic, the use of pesticides, poaching, rubbish and other attacks.

Local environmental and animals rights groups, together with residents of the Axarquia who are aware of the importance of environmental protection, have decided to take the initiative and place a series of informative posters warning visitors and hikers of the fragility of the environment as well as the current breeding season. The abundant rain that fell during Easter week have completely transformed the landscape of this area at the mouth of the River Vélez.

Strawberry boxes

With signs saying 'Silencio, se cria' (silence, breeding) and 'Estamos criando ayúdanos', (we are breeding, help us) in Spanish and English, the promoters of the information campaign put up the posters on Sunday 14 April. Birdwatching Axarquia, Emergencia Climática Axarquia and Amigos de la Desembocadura del río Vélez along with foreign residents from Torrox and Nerja all helped to put up the posters, which are made using the lids from strawberry boxes.

The signs emphasise the fact that it is breeding season for birds and right now the wetland is particularly sensitive to disturbance from people and dogs as well as noise, so they ask for silence and respect for the wildlife in the area.

Birdwatching Axarquia thanked those involved in the initiative with a message on their social media: "Thank you for your art and, above all, for your commitment to such a wonderful and special place as this", the message said.

Species

Despite being dammed and having numerous intakes for irrigation, the final stretch of the River Vélez always has water which provides opportunities for bird watching, especially considering the small size of the space.

According to Malaga’s provincial authority, the Diputación de Málaga, “In the area it is possible to observe mainly species linked to the aquatic environment and their number will depend on the time of year, with migration periods providing us with real surprises".

Different species of ducks, grebes, shearwaters, cormorants, herons, from the little bittern to the purple heron, flamingos, birds of prey, coots, skuas, different species of gulls, nightjars, swifts, hoopoes, bee-eaters, caracaras can all be seen there.

Furthermore sand martins are often present during the breeding season, albeit in small numbers, the aquatic warbler sometimes visits in winter, the common moorhen, which has been known to breed in the area, and the yellow wagtail can also be spotted in the area at different times of year.

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