Tortoise reserve setup in exchange for the AVE

Bit of a strange one this, and I’ve only spotted it because of a news article about a legal challenge.

It seems that, due to destruction of habitat to the local tortoise (tortuga mora) caused by the construction of the AVE, the national government approved the expropriation of 500 hectares of land in Cuevas del Almanzora and Pulpí, to connect up two other government owned plots of land, between the Sierras Aguilón and Almagrera. The land has officially been designated as a tortoise breeding area and any tortoises found being naughty in the province (raiding bins, stealing melons, robbing banks, etc) will be taken to this area and released. The land allows the tortoises to make their ways between the two sierras. Anyone caught poaching tortoises on the land will be summarily executed at dawn by a Guardia Civil Seprona firing squad, or if connected to a local politician, fined a moderate amount per tortoise.

130 people lost land, although only 200 hectares of land was actually being farmed, mainly for lettuces and melons. (They should leave at least one of them for the tortoises!). The farmers have complained and have launched a legal challenge for more money.

Almería Levante is one of the main breeding areas for the tortuga mora, which is why you can’t go for a walk in the Sierra Cabrera without stepping on a half dozen of the randy little buggers.

One Reply to “Tortoise reserve setup in exchange for the AVE”

  1. Pingback: Cuevas to appeal against tortoise sanctuary |

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