Main threats

Probably, one of the desicive factor that is conditioning the conservation status of our nature areas is the lack of management. Landslides are not fixed anymore, paths are abandoned and traditional professions are being lost.

Few decades ago, different traditional and sustainable economic activities supplied the forest with live and maintanance. These works, though indirectly, encouraged biodiversity and prevented fires. Hence, there was equity between utilization of resources and nature conservancy. Unfourtunately, rather than a well-balanced environment, the Tramuntana has nowadays become a postcard hosting an endangered heritage.

Hence, we do need to bring back to life the Tramuntana with an efficient and profitable management. Thus, visitors would enjoy it, tourism industry would appreciate it (and take part on its conservation) and whoever owns a part of the land would have an incentive and support to end with the mountain management chimera.

The mountains of Valldemossa and Muntanya del Voltor are no exception. Vanishing of traditional economic activities at the Tramuntana mountain range lead to the cease of environmental management. This situation supposes the weaknening of the area and strengthen of the threats. Therefore, biodiversity, landscape and architectural elements are endangered.

For instance, a poor forestry favours the multiplication of oak feet, meaning the loss of genetic diversity and a higher rivalry for light, water and nutrients. It is basically an enfeeblement of the forest that needs to be reverted.

Some other factors worsen the situation: lack of water sources (absence of water points for birds and insects); overpopulation of wild goats (due to the end of ranching and the lack of a predator) affecting the local flora; outbreak of plagues such as the great capricorn beetle Cerambyx cerdo, the common pine shoot beetle Tomicus piniperda or the fungus Biscogniauxia mediterranea (plagues which would probably not be a threaten if the forest was healthy).

Also, heavy public use has many environmental impacts such us rubbish, noise, camping or fire. Paradoxically, an uncontrolled and overcrowed area may affects not only the nature but the hikking activity itself due to massification and the experience quality loss.

Landscape and architectural heritage are one of the main attractions for the hikers. Huts, fountains and other insfraestructures are no longer in use, which means that are gradually damaged. Natural events (such as lightlinings or erosion) and vandalism worsen its conservation.

Considering this, it is necessary to set up a management model to revert the degradation and encourage culture and nature conservation, coordinating it with mallorcan and foreigner hikers.

© Associació Muntanya del Voltor. 2016.