SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, June 20. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The delegate of the CSIC in the Canary Islands, Manuel Nogales, said this Monday that the draft of the Master Plan for the Use and Management of the Teide National Park is an “adequate starting document” to guarantee its correct conservation.
Nogales warns in a note that the number of visitors to the park has been gradually increasing until reaching in 2018, before the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 4 million visitors concentrated in an area of only about 190 square kilometers.
Las Cañadas del Teide is the first national park constituted as such in the Canary Islands (January 22, 1954) and in 2007 it received recognition as ‘World Heritage’ from UNESCO, which recognizes it as one of the richest and most diverse from all over the world.
In addition, Nogales recalls, in 1989, the Council of Europe awarded the national park the European diploma in its highest category, still in force today, considerations that highlight the “obvious uniqueness” of this protected space and its natural values in a world context, hence the new Governing Plan for Use and Management has “particular relevance” within the network of natural spaces in the Spanish state.
Added to this urgency, he continues, is the fact that Teide currently presents “serious problems”, from the point of view of the conservation of its biota, related to the presence of two introduced herbivores, the mouflon and the rabbit.
Both animals cause significant damage to the flora and vegetation so exclusive to the park, which is home to up to 12 endemic species, and another “inconvenience” for conservation work is the exploitation of honey –installation of beehives–, of which It has come to authorize up to 2,700 annual pollinators in the last decade and whose bees displace native pollinators, many of them also endemic, he says.
To this is added, in addition, the effect of climate change, especially “pernicious” in high mountain environments, says Nogales.
Along these lines, he points out that these “threats” show the necessary implementation of a new “more restrictive” regulation in terms of its conservation and this is what is being pursued with this new draft of the PRUG.