Bird sanctuary at risk of “disappearing forever”

“Once it is destroyed, it will never come back” – this was the underlying message passed at a lecture about the Alagoas Brancas wetland in Lagoa held last week in the town’s municipal library.

The lecture was led by Dr Manfred Temme, an 80-year-old German biologist who has been at the forefront of the protests against plans to cover the wetland with concrete and build a commercial development.

Dr Temme showed pictures of multitudes of bird species that have made the wetland their home, many of which are endangered, explaining that most of them visit the area even when it is dried up.

Other members of the ‘Salvar Alagoas Brancas’ group also spoke during the lecture, stressing how important it is for those who oppose the commercial plans for the wetland to speak up and join the protests.

Following the lecture, Dr Temme told the Resident that many species have been returning to the wetland after last week’s rainfall. He was able to spot “around 18 stilts” as well as “six black-tailed godwits, almost 100 ducks, grey herons and several gulls”.

He added that with some more rain, “the valuable area will soon attract more bird species and return to normal”.

Dr Temme spends his winters in the Algarve and conducts his own small research projects on Portuguese bird life.

Alagoas Brancas is a small wetland area that is said to have given the name to Lagoa. It is located in front of the town’s Aldi supermarket.

By MICHAEL BRUXO [email protected]