Shelling out to protect nature

SPUR-THIGHED TORTOISE: Is under threat.

RAIL infrastructure administrator ADIF has finally launched a project to claim land in order to create a reserve for the endangered spur-thighed tortoise.

Populations of the sedate shell-dwellers inhabiting scrubland close to Pulpi and Cuevas de Almanzora represent some of the last in Spain, and they are threatened by construction of the high speed rail line which is to connect Almeria and Murcia.

Establishing a reserve for the threatened reptiles is thus considered a bare minimum after some of the animals were relocated at the beginning of the summer.

An ADIF statement regarding the environmental impact analysis, some of which covers private land, states that “each and every one of the affected estates will be analysed” in order to meet the requirements with “great sensitivity to any residents affected and to minimise effects on water supplies and properties.”

There is no mention of how suitable tortoise habitat will be selected, however.

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