A wildlife sanctuary in Spain is no longer a safe retreat for its visitors. Tens?
MV Two students carrying dead birds.
MV & CU Dead birds (2 shots)
CU Warden looking at dead birds.
MS Biology student carries dead birds to bag and removes head, places in bag.
CU Warden holding skull of bird.
CU & MV Skulls of dead birds (picked clean by rodents)
MV Man holding large bird.
SV PAN Marshland.
CU Man looks through binoculars
SV PAN birds in flight.
Initials APSM/1719 APSM/1736
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A wildlife sanctuary in Spain is no longer a safe retreat for its visitors. Tens of thousands of birds - some of them rare - are dead. Their killer is believed to be a potent pesticide, which found its way into the River Guadalquivir. Wardens at the La Donana Nature Reserve near Seville believe the pesticide, which is banned in Spain, polluted the water after an illegal spraying of nearby farming areas.
Many rare wild birds have been wiped out by the poison. They include Kentish Plovers from England, Coots from many parts of Europe, Red-shanks and the rare Spoonbill, which resumed breeding in the area some years ago. Hardest hit were the colonies of Mallards, Shovellers and Poachers. Some flamingos have also been lose. Naturalists hurried to the reserve to flush the river clean of the pesticide. Their mission was urgent - large flocks of migrant geese were expected from Scandinavia at any time.
The full extent of the damage is not yet known. Experts were tramping through the swamps, sand dunes and lakes searching for corpses and analysis what they found. The Reserve was established ten years ago by the World Wildlife Fund, the had proved to be a valuable breeding ground for some of the world's rarer species.