Petition in defence of Dutch bird because of the airport

in News · 20-02-2020 08:58:00 · 0 Comments

The Association for the Defence of Holland's Birds has advanced with a petition in defence of the bill-billed curlew, a bird symbol of that country that will be at risk because of the construction of the airport of the Montijo.

According to TSF radio, the petition, from the Association for the Defence of Holland's Birds, in partnership with the BirdLife Europe Non-Governmental Organization, has already gathered 26,000 signatures.

The petition, promoted by Vogelbescherming Nederland, is entitled "Torch Yes! Airport No!" and aims to protect the hundreds of thousands of birds in the Tagus river estuary and in particular the right-billed curlew.

Speaking to TSF, the association's spokesman explains that the sandpiper is the national bird of the Netherlands, a country where about 85 percent of the animals of this species pass through once a year.

The official said he was "shocked" when the association became aware of the plan to build the airport in Montijo, a project that, in his understanding, will affect not only sandpipers, but thousands of other birds that pass by.

“We were frankly shocked. It is an estuary that is essential for the blowtorch to migrate from Africa to the Netherlands. The Tagus rice fields are vital for the survival of the species,” said Thijs den Otter.

Right-billed curlew travel between Africa and the Netherlands and in the middle they rest in the area of ??the Tagus estuary.

“This area near Lisbon is crucial for this type of bird to charge batteries and gain strength for the end of the trip. The idea of ??having an airport in an estuary is difficult to understand in a nature conservation society. It is a vital protected area for thousands of migratory birds and can cause an ecological disaster,” he said.

Thijs den Otter also underlined that he does not understand how Portugal plans to build an airport in an area considered to be protected by the European Union to save threatened or vulnerable wild species.

Scientists estimate that between January and February the Tagus Estuary will be used as a shelter and source of food by about 50,000 sandpipers, says the TSF.

On 8 January, 2019, ANA - Aeroportos de Portugal and the State signed the agreement for the expansion of Lisbon airport capacity, with an investment of 1.15 billion Euros by 2028 to increase the current airport of Lisbon and transform the Montijo air base, on the south bank of the Tagus, in a new airport.

Montijo airport may have its first works on the ground this year, after the issuance of the Environmental Impact Statement (DIA) and the reorganization of military airspace and after the various advances recorded in 2019.

On 19 February, the Deputy Secretary of State and Communications, Alberto Souto de Miranda, writes an opinion article in the newspaper Público, in defence of Montijo airport, where he recognizes that the most serious risk is the 'bird strike', known in several airports.

“There are no airports without impacts (…). Birds are not stupid and are likely to adapt. And this risky postulate is as scientifically sound as its opposite: that they will not find innumerable stops, as in Mouchão. Science without proven data is not science,” he said.

In the same article, the Secretary of State also criticizes those who defend the construction of the airport in Alverca.


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