Seville-Cádiz High-Speed Line. Jerez Airport-Cádiz Section. El Puerto de Santa María Subsection.
Description of the Environmental Measure
This subsection’s layout runs for about 1,800 metres through the Bahía de Cádiz Natural Park, and for another 4,200 metres it runs in the vicinity or along the border of the park.
This natural park and other adjacent wetlands form an unavoidable part of many birds’ migratory path to Africa and the wintering place of choice for many other birds. In addition, the line runs along two rivers, home to some very important aquatic species including fish, amphibians and associated mammals.
The foremost species is the chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon), which lives in the pine forests the line crosses, such as El Coto de la Isleta. The chameleon is currently listed as endangered and is protected under Royal Decree 3181/1980 of 30 December.
That is why extreme precautions were taken in thinning and clearing work, so as not to make the chameleon’s situation any worse.
Thinning and clearing work was done on a limited schedule, avoiding the mating and egg-laying period, which is from July to October.
This work was done with a maximum of precautions, which consisted in limiting the use of heavy machinery and using manual procedures. Wherever possible, each plant’s base was painstakingly examined, since chameleons usually hide amongst the roots of bushes and brush.
The specimens found (around 10) were handed over to forestry agents and taken to the local fauna recovery centre or, under instructions, moved to other pine forested areas nearby inside the Bahía de Cádiz Natural Park.