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La Trapa nature reserve celebrates 30 years of protection

Featured in: News & Reviews · Nicola Henderson, Site Editor | Published

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Balearic conservation group GOB has today celebrated the 30th anniversary of its aquisition of La Trapa Nature Reserve, in the south west of Mallorca. The land was bought so that it would be protected from private development in the 1980's and the nature reserve is now dedicated to the protection of  the area's landscape and wildlife, and to environmental education.

GOB managed to raise the necessary funds through individual donations, support from like-minded groups and fund-raising initiatives based in the local community. Volunteers continue to support the park by ensuring paths are kept cleared, and by organising seminars and tours for schools and other groups so they can learn about the environment.

La Trapa was occupied by Trappist monks who had fled France for Majorca in the early 19th century. They built a monastry and stone terraces for agriculture and the area was used for farming until the middle of the 20th century when the area was abandoned. After the land was purchased by GOB, it suffered a large forest fire in 1994 which destroyed much of the vegetation. GOB mounted a huge re-plantation effort with the help of the local community, sowing seeds and planting oak and olive trees.

The area is visited by 10,000 people each year, who are free to enjoy the landscape and the wildlife. A number of hikes through the reserve are possible, all with stunning views of the coastline and Sa Dragonera island. Some 80 species of birds frequent the area, with over half of these choosing to nest here.  A small colony of Peregrine falcons nest in the cliffs and the world's largest colony of shearwaters - a species endemic to Majorca - also choose La Trapa as their home. Ospreys, red-billed gulls and comorants have frequently been spotted in the area.