The Deputation of Pontevedra has just launched the first three ornithological tourism routes in the province, in collaboration with the organization SEO-BirdLife. The three routes run through the surroundings of the Miño and A Ramallosa estuaries, the Umia-O Grove intertidal complex and the Brañas do Xestoso. According to the provincial president, Carmela Silva, this ornithological tourism campaign meets the objectives of the recently presented Strategic Tourism Plan, with the dual objective of promoting the areas where birds can be seen in their natural habitat and raising awareness of the need to protect these areas “which are a resource of the first order and an opportunity for tourism development,” said.
The first of these guided tours will take place on 21 January next at the Umia-O Grove intertidal complex, where approximately 18,000 birds from northern Europe flock each year to spend the winter or on their way to Africa. The second route will be to the estuary of the Miño and the Foz de A Ramallosa, and will be held on 4 February; while the third guided tour will be to the Brañas do Xestoso, between the municipalities of Silleda, Forcarei and Lalín, and will take place on 20 May. The three routes will be coordinated by SEO-BirdLife members who will provide participants with bird watching material. The registration period begins on 9 January and can be done through the Deputation website (www.depo.gal) or in the Vigo and Pontevedra registers.
Pontevedra hosts four of the sixteen Special Protection Areas for Birds (ZEPAS) that exist in Galicia. According to the World Tourism Organization, nearly ten million tourists visit Spain every year for bird watching in the country’s countless wetlands.