La Font Roja: A paradise for plant eating animals

An observational study reveals that 120 wild sheep and 35 wild goats roam freely through the Font Roja natural park.

The Font Roja has become a paradise for herbivores, and more specifically for ungulates. An observational study has revealed that around 120 wild sheep and 35 wild goats roam freely through the Font Roja natural park located halfway between Alcoy and Ibi. Some figures suggest that it might be necessary to control the number of these animals due to the adverse effect they have on plant life.

The presence of the two non-native species has been controversial for some time with some sectors calling for animal controls to be put in place after the biological station Torretes, in the municipality of Ibi suffered major damage. Others however suggest that the wild animals help prevent forest fires by naturally reducing the density of vegetation in the park.

Bring a relatively small park Font Roja is sensitive to modifications to its natural biodiversity which when unbalanced could cause lasting problems.

This debate, however, occurs without really knowing how many ungulates swarm in the area as they can travel to the park from many miles away and leave just as easy as they arrived.

What is clear, however, is that sightings are becoming more common, both on the part of hikers who travel the area as well as through the photo trapping systems that are scattered around different parts of the area.

More studies and debate will be needed before any concrete steps are taken that would see controls regarding the number of sheep and goats in the park.

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