On many occasions we have taken day trips to the Cabo de Gata nature park. Having just had a look at the article here on the Voz de Almería site I have found out that later this month there will be the 30th anniversary of the natural park being founded.

Read More for a Google translation of the article (and click on the link to the article to see a few good bird watching photos).

On January 26, 1988, the decree declaring the name of the Natural Park Cabo de Gata Níjar was published, being the first maritime-terrestrial, an achievement that was "a collective adventure to prevent the coast from becoming a trickle of chalets ", explained yesterday Hermelindo Castro, president of the Governing Board of the Park, that together with Raúl Enríquez, territorial delegate of Environment, and José Rivera, president of the Group Ecologist Mediterranean (GEM), presented yesterday morning the almanac prepared for this association to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Cabo de Gata Níjar Natural Park with photographs of its birds.
Castro recalled in the meeting the "heterodox" to call a park in which there was not even "forests, which is coastal and arid, where it rains less than in some parks of the Sahara, and whose volcanic cliffs represent one of the most important attractions ".

The calendar carried out by GEM gathers a collection of images of some of the most representative bird species of the Park in order to "make them known, that the Almeria people become more familiar with them, because we are ignoring what we have in our land, which people realize the wonderful nature we have in Almeria and want to preserve it, "explained José Rivera, author of this series of photographs, who justified the choice of birds for this tribute because it is" the living indicator that shows health ecological of a place ".

He stressed that there have been birds that have been impossible to photograph because they are now less abundant than before, warning that "if the species begin to disappear, it is a symbol of something that is not being done well".
In this regard, he declared that the responsibility to conserve this natural patrimony is as much of the Administration as of those who visit it, since, for example, "they must know why they must walk in order not to damage the soil, take care of their pets to that do not harm the animals of the habitat, and do not commit imprudence like taking plants home, "he said.

They recalled that this anniversary also coincides with the 20 years of its inclusion in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by Unesco and its promotion to the status of Geopark 11 years ago. As part of the consideration of the Biosphere Reserve, Castro stressed the need to "environmentalize the park's exterior" by making more and more greenhouses "ecological" and, with respect to their interior, "to bring order".

Active turism
He explained how new forms of tourism can be a danger. Castro said that to remedy this, they have done something "as innovative as sitting down to talk" with the companies of kayak, diving and caravan drivers. He explained that a single interlocutor represents the collective of the former and they have already reached a consensus on the maximum number of kayaks that can run at the same time or the specific areas to embark and disembark. On the caravans, Castro explained "the complexity of the legislative ambiguity" and stressed the need for "more parking" so that "they can not justify putting themselves anywhere".

Carboneras wants to join
Last April, the Junta de Andalucia processed the motion of the local Carboneras corporation that requested to include its name in the Park's place name. One of the first steps was the analysis of the governing board of the Park. Asked about this matter, Hermelindo Castro, president of said Board, declared that "it is touching that Carboneras wants to join because it is a sign that the brand 'Cabo de Gata' has triumphed," and pointed out that "it is something that must still be agreed with the other municipalities, since Níjar contributes 70% of the territory to the park ". With the last extension of the limits of the reserve carried out in 1994, the protected area affected most of the town of Carboneras without it having meant a nominal recognition for the municipality.