Since the mid twentieth century, many areas of Mallorca have undergone a dramatic change due to tourist development. Yet, many areas have escaped from this process and can be enjoyed by the local population and visitors. Albufera, Cabrera Archipelago, Dragonera Island, Albufereta, the Tramuntana and Artà Mountains and many other sites are now protected and their great natural and cultural values guaranteed for future generations.
One of the main actors in the preservation of biodiversity in the Balearic Islands has been the GOB, the Balearic Ornithological and Nature Conservation Group. The GOB was created in 1973 and it is the main local conservation NGO and one of the strongest within Spain. With the support of some 5000 members from the Balearics, mainland Spain and also abroad, the GOB has achieved the development of large environmental education programmes and a strong public awareness among the local population and decision makers. This has led to the protection of the aforementioned natural areas, among many others, and to the development of successful conservation projects of key species including the Black Vulture, the Red Kite and the Osprey. GOB ornithologists carry out numerous ornithological research and monitoring projects through ringing campaigns and surveys. Many of the results of these projects are published in its annual scientific journal, the Balearic Bird Report (published since 1985) and in the dissemination magazine “Es Busqueret”.
Currently GOB devotes great efforts to two projects addressing the conservation of the Red Kite and the Osprey, both considered critically endangered in the Balearic Islands due to their small populations. Beginning in 2000 for the Red Kite and in 2008 for the Osprey, GOB has carried out censuses, bird ringing and tagging, radio and satellite tracking and the identification and assessment of threats. These actions have increased the knowledge of the biology, distribution, population size and migratory movements of both species and have led to further conservation measure proposals.
In 1980, the GOB purchased La Trapa, an area of outstanding beauty and great natural and historical value in the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains. La Trapa is the first private nature reserve in Mallorca; it is open to the public and for many years has been managed with the support of a large group of volunteers who regularly undertake conservation, restoration and management tasks. Many other volunteers contribute to the work of GOB by supporting the day to day running of the organisation in addition to helping with numerous environmental campaigns, events, projects and training courses.
In existence for over 40 years, the GOB has become a very strong and prestigious conservation organisation and the lead in all matters relating to bird, nature conservation and environmental issues in the Balearic Islands.
You can support GOB’s conservation projects and activities by becoming a member or making a donation. To find out more, click here.
There has also been a major conservation project on the Black Vulture which jointly carried out by the Black Vulture conservation Foundation , (BVCF) with the support of FtankfurtZoological society and the life project of the EU. The Black Vulture is the most emblematic inhabitant of the Mallorcan mountains. In the 1980’sthe Mallorcan vulture was nearly extinct and thanks to all the conservation projects the population has increased from approximately 20 to over 110 at the moment.The survival of the vultute which nests in the Tramuntana is still thretened by ilegal poising put down for pine martens etc.
The Mallorcan population is the only island one in the world and with a wingspan of over 2.8m this is a huge bird and doesn’t start breeding until four or five year old.