The team of biologists from the Andalusian Odonatological Association has found new populations of three protected and highly threatened dragonflies in the course of a study carried out in the rivers of the Costa del Sol and Sierra Bermeja (Málaga).
Among these, the Macromia splendens, declared by Andalusian legislation in 2003 in critical danger of extinction, stands out for its "very high degree of threat".
Along with this extremely endangered species, researchers have found that two other endangered species, Gomphus graslinii and Oxygastra curtisii, also maintain several populations that were unknown in these rivers.
The Odonatological Association has assured this Tuesday through a statement that the published results have shown that Sierra Bermeja is home to the same number of dragonfly species as the Doñana National Park or the Cazorla Natural Park.
They also show that all its rivers have an "exceptional" state of conservation as they are home to the most threatened and demanding species on the Peninsula such as Macromia splendens and Gomphus graslinii, which currently only survive in very little altered spaces and are protected by various laws and regional, state and community directives.
However, the future of some of these populations "does not seem very promising", as their area of distribution coincides with areas that were once outside the Sierra Bermeja protected area –LIC Sierra Bermeja-Real–, as in the case of several populations found in Estepona (Malaga).
Even more worrying is the case of Benahavís (Málaga), they have regretted from the association, since their distribution often coincides directly with areas classified as urban land in the PGOU pending final approval by the Junta de Andalucía, such as the farms of Montemayor, La Romera and part of La Resinera, in the Guadalmansa basin, or the Altos de la Quinta in the Guadaiza basin, rivers declared a Special Protection Area by the Andalusian Government in early 2015.
Several allegations by residents of the municipality and environmental associations have been submitted to the Benahavís City Council and the Ministry of the Environment requesting that these lands "of high ecological value" become rustic soils of special protection in the new PGOU, avoiding So urban expansion continues to irreversibly destroy their ecosystems.
The authors of the study themselves have highlighted in the discussion of their results the need to protect these unique ecosystems that are disappearing due to speculation and advise for Sierra Bermeja a level of protection that is really in line with its environmental values: the figure of a National Park.