Last year’s summer heat was the worst Spain has ever experienced. According to the European Union’s climate monitoring programme, this was the hottest summer on record. And the winter that followed was exceptionally dry.
In Catalonia, located in northeastern Spain, water reserves have fallen to historically low levels. Several important water reserves are down to just under 25 percent of capacity.
This means Catalonia’s farmers are already facing an uphill battle against drought.
Some viticulturalists have begun to use grape varieties that are somewhat more drought tolerant, but are still risking a large portion of their harvest due to the large number of rabbits in the area – which have also increased in recent years.
– Many factors contributed to the explosion of rabbit numbers. It was an epidemic, Alex Foa, a wine grower in the village of Verdue, told the Guardian that for two years no one could hunt, they became immune to the plague of rabbits, and females could produce seven or eight offspring every two months.
Gas must be used to overpower the population
When there is such a shortage of grass and water, hungry animals seek out the farmers’ crops.
This means that Catalonia has decided that 250,000 rabbits must be killed by September at the latest in order to keep the population at manageable levels. But there are large quantities that are not enough for the fishermen to use.
Instead, the government decided to allow the use of aluminum phosphate, which releases the toxic gas phosphine when placed inside rabbit holes.
Also read: Spain’s heat record: “It’s already unbearable”
Also read: The first major forest fire of the season in Spain
Also read: World Meteorological Organization: The last eight years were the warmest on record
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