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Spain: Ecologists protest over threats to Donana nature park

Associated Press Associated Press 24/11/2016
Paper birds hang on strings outside the Spanish Parliament in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. Environmentalists have displayed hundreds of colored origami paper birds outside the Parliament to demand greater government action to protect Spain's Donana National Park, one of Europe's most celebrated conservation wetlands, which they say is in danger of being placed on UNESCO's endangered list due to a grave risk from excessive water extraction. (AP Photo/Paul White) © The Associated Press Paper birds hang on strings outside the Spanish Parliament in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. Environmentalists have displayed hundreds of colored origami paper birds outside the Parliament to demand greater government action to protect Spain's Donana National Park, one of Europe's most celebrated conservation wetlands, which they say is in danger of being placed on UNESCO's endangered list due to a grave risk from excessive water extraction. (AP Photo/Paul White)

MADRID — Environmentalists are displaying hundreds of colorful origami birds outside the Spanish Parliament to demand greater government action to protect a national park that provides habitat for migrating birds.

The World Wildlife Fund says excessive water extraction is putting Donana National Park, one of Europe's most celebrated conservation wetlands, at grave risk. Proposals for dredging, mining and gas storage nearby are also threatening it.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has given the government until Dec. 1 to explain its plans for the park, which receives around 6 million migratory birds annually. The site is currently a candidate for UNESCO's list of endangered world heritage sites.

The protest Thursday featured a large display of paper birds sent by some of the 130,000 people backing the World Wildlife Fund campaign.

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