Park volunteers continue conservation

On Thursday 10th November the natural park volunteers were asked if they would like to take part in the release of a number of Fartet (toothcarp) fish that have been bred in the visitors’ centre. This species of fish is in danger of extinction and it is hoped that the introduction of the fish into the Laguna at Torrevieja will help their long term chance of survival.

Those taking part met at 10.30am at the information centre in Parque la Mata where a short explanation of the project was given and the group then set off to the Rambla La Fayona where the release was to take place.

Crystal East, a park volunteer, was impressed by the combination of talk and action. Not only was the event about informing people of the Fartet’s predicament but also raising awareness of what is being done to halt the gradual disappearance of this little fish.

‘It was excellent,’ explains Crystal. ‘After a fascinating presentation about the Fartet and the problems they face we were taken to the Rambla de Fayona which is where the sea goes into the salt lake. This is on private land so we were very privileged to be there.’

The water was tested for salinity before the fish could be introduced. After the saline was reduced, the ten volunteers were each given a bag into which they put one of the Fartets. ‘These were then placed one by one into the Rambla,’ says Crystal. ‘We hope that they will now breed and produce many more.’

The park is very much about regeneration and education. One of the current schemes includes cutting down some overlapping trees to enable regeneration to take place. The volunteers have been making new signs to restrict access to the areas that are out of bounds at present because of this initiative.

Next events

This year it is the twentieth anniversary of the natural park of La Mata-Torrevieja and a number of events have been organised to celebrate the fact. The next date that the volunteers would like to draw your attention to is on the 23rd November when nest boxes will be erected in different parts of the Park.

The hope is that the new boxes will attract and help retain the Carbonero (Great Tits) which feed on the processionary caterpillar. This caterpillar is a  pest that can prove fatal to dogs and other pets. The nest boxes will be observed closely over the next few years to check on trends and use.

The Park exhibition is an ongoing attraction that it is hoped people will visit. The exhibition is called ‘Natural Architecture’ and includes models of birds nests, the real versions of whichcan be seen in the park. The exhibition is open from November 11th until December 11th.

The volunteers who help in the park are always looking for new members. If you think you might be able to join them and help maintain one of Torrevieja’s most attractive features then please contact the volunteer group on lamatavols@gmail.com

Suzanne O’Connell