The Salar de los Canos, Vera Playa, Almeria, houses seven endangered species including the black tortoise, the squacco heron, the grey teal and the white headed duck
Salar de los Canos
Shoppers visiting Supermercado Consum, on the A7107 at Vera Playa may wonder about the significance of the two hides, on stilts, on the opposite side of the road. A stretch of bamboo hides the 87 hectares of land inland that constitutes the Salar de los Canos, one of the most important wetlands on this stretch of coast.
The Salar de los Canos comprises two lagoons with a raised landmass in the centre. Its importance is due to the presence of no less than seven endangered species of fauna including the black tortoise, the squacco heron, the grey teal and the white headed duck who all breed in what has been described as ‘the green lung of Vera’. The wetlands also include habitats of enormous ecological importance such as Mediterranean scrublands and marsh environments with very high productivity and biological diversity, 11 of them are registered as Habitats of Community Interest with conservation interest, of which four are registered as priority.
57 hectares of the wetland has recently been included in the Inventory of Wetlands of Andalucia. Unfortunately the remaining 28 hectares includes the raised ground in the centre of the area and plans for that land include dwellings for 7,000 people. Given that the current population of the entire municipality of Vera is only 16,000, this planned development would increase the population disproportionately and destroy a fragile environment that currently has a great biodiversity.
Local residents and sixteen organisations including; el Grupo Ecologista Mediterráneo, Asociación Acerobo, Plataforma Acuíferos Vivos, Asociación Buxus, Asociación El Garbancillo, Asociación Graeca, Asociación de Naturalistas del Sureste, Asociación Vecinal Veraplayazul, Ecologistas en Acción Almería, Región Murciana y Melilla (Guelaya), El Árbol de las Piruletas, Grupo Ecologista Andarax, Plataforma Prolitoral, and the Asociación Promar y la Sociedad Española de Ornitología/BirdLife Almería, have jointly petitioned the Veratense Consistory, as well as the departments of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and Development, Infrastructures and Land Management.
White Headed Duck
Initially the campaigning group aim to have the building plans stopped and the Salar de los Canos listed as a Nature Site (Paraje Natural), which would guarantee the area’s preservation under Andalucian Parliamentary Law.