View of Morrillo de Bordils.

Environmentalists GOB are asking people who go walking in the islands' natural areas to respect exclusion zones, especially during the spring. These zones are the most ecologically fragile of protected natural areas and are where the habitats of the most threatened species are to be found. For this reason, public access is restricted.

GOB explain that spring is a critical time because of reproduction. Abandoning a nest during incubation, even for a short time, can cause hatching to fail. Vultures and ospreys are among the birds that depend on quiet nesting areas.

The environmentalists say that the sensitivity of exclusion zones is not limited to birds or to the spring. Many endemic and threatened plant species are in these zones. Grazing by feral goats and trampling by hikers are factors that place these species at risk. Around the Puig Major, for example, there are 24 threatened plant species; some are unique to Majorca.

In printed guides and on the internet, hiking routes that pass through exclusion zones are identified. This makes control difficult, as people receiving the wrong information breach regulations governing access. The environment ministry has taken action against a publisher for highlighting routes in exclusion zones and for inducing walkers to use them illegally.

"The limitations are essential if we wish to make the enjoyment of nature and the conservation of biodiversity compatible," GOB are stressing.