Cala Castell in Pollensa, a Tramuntana exclusion zone. | Elena Ballestero


The regional environment ministry will have to respond to a European Parliament demand for information regarding the government's management of the Tramuntana Mountains.

In 2016, the Mediterranean Wildlife Foundation presented a petition to Brussels regarding a proposed reduction in protection. This specifically referred to exclusion zones where black vultures are to be found. These are on the Ternelles finca in Pollensa: by the Castell del Rei and the Cala Castell.

This reduction in protection was the consequence of a 2016 amendment of the law on environmental impact. The government was wanting to give hikers access to the exclusion zones.

Cecilia Wikström, chair of the European Parliament Petitions Committee, has sent a letter to the the environment minister Vicenç Vidal. This explains that a meeting in October considered the petition from the foundation which demanded that the Spanish authorities (including therefore the Balearic government) fully comply with European directives on the habitats and conservation of wild birds.

The foundation commissioned a study by the University of Alcalá into the risks posed by the amended legislation. This found, among other things, that some 300,000 hikers walk in the mountains between October and April.

There are almost two thousand hectares of land in the mountains which are exclusion zones. Access to them is denied except for scientific research purposes.