Lagoa dos Salgados (or PÍra Marsh as it is known to the large number of British birders who visit this site) in the Algarve has recently been drained at the request of the adjacent Salgados Golf Club. Although this is done during the winter months to control the water level and to flush out untreated sewage which pollutes the water and contributes to avian botulism, it has been agreed between local authorities and the various environmental groups that this would never be done after the 1st of March in order to avoid disturbing the large number of breeding birds.
The former lagoon is now an arid dust bowl, the reedbeds are dying, and we have lost Purple Heron, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Purple Swamphen, Feruginous Duck, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Little Tern and Marsh Harrier (to name just the most important species) as breeding birds.
Myself and others have publicised this crime as widely as possible to the press and radio and television stations. Almost every newspaper and magazine has run a story on this and it even made it onto the front page of "Publico" (Portuguese equivalent of The Times).
Here is a link to an article in the English language weekly "The Algarve Resident": http://www.portugalresident.com/port...y.asp?ID=26175