The number of black vultures in the Tramuntana has increased significantly since protected zones were declared in 2007. | Archive


A team from the University of Alcalá in Madrid has been engaged in studying environmental impacts in the Tramuntana mountains, in particular in light of legislative changes planned for protected areas.

The Balearic law will permit access to areas that were previously exclusion zones, except for scientific purposes. It will now be possible, therefore, for walkers to enter these zones, which comprise just under 3% of the mountains. They are considered to be highly sensitive, such as the area by the Castell del Rei and Cala Castell in Pollensa; there are black vulture habitats there, and concern has been expressed about harm that might be caused to them.

The Alcalá researchers show that last year over 211,000 people stayed in tourist accommodation in the Tramuntana. They also calculate that between October this year and April next year some 300,000 hikers will have wandered in the mountains. Over the course of a year, they say, 1.5 million people use the dry-stone route.

These numbers, they suggest, highlight growing people pressure that could seriously affect conservation of the Tramuntana's biodiversity.