Scientists: UK holidaymakers must STOP having sex with strangers on Gran Canaria sand dunes
Scientists have said British holidaymakers must stop having sex with strangers on Gran Canaria’s famous sand dunes.
Research has revealed that so many people travel to the Canary Islands to have illicit sex outdoors on the dunes that rare plants and bushes are destroyed.
The study found nearly 300 favorite locations on the vast sandy area on the south side of the island.
Scientists have said British holidaymakers must stop having sex with strangers on Gran Canaria’s famous sand dunes (pictured, file photo)
Covering around 1,000 acres of the island off the African coast, the dunes have been protected as a nature reserve since 1987 and are considered one of Spain’s greatest natural treasures.
The researchers conducted a detailed study on the impact on the dunes of the “cruise” which involves anonymous sexual encounters in public places.
And they concluded that the activities carried out have a direct impact on the dunes and on eight native plant species, three of which are endemic.
The study was carried out by the Physical Geography and Environment Group, the Institute of Oceanography and Global Change (IOCAG-ULPGC) and the Beach and Dune Systems Laboratory (BEADS) at Flinders University.
Their findings have now been published in a report titled “Sand, Sun, Sea and Sex with Strangers, the Five S’s”.
The researchers point out that the dunes and the coastal beaches are examples of open public spaces where these sexual practices are widely practiced, to the point of having been identified and defined by the bibliography as the “Four S” (sand, sun, sea). and sex; in English).
“In this sense, there are many studies that have addressed the question of the relationship between tourism and sex (sex tourism) but few have analyzed the consequences of these practices on the natural environment, especially when the spaces where these activities take place are protected. regions, ”said a spokesperson.
The experts located and recorded all the points where the sexual encounters (sex spots) took place.
They then collected information relating to the dimensions or the internal distribution of these spaces, as well as the type of sexual use, their geographical position, the cover and type of vegetation and the environmental impacts or the absence of actions of management.
They were then examined, collated and analyzed spatially and statistically using geographic information systems (GIS).
Pictured: a map showing the location of the Maspalomas, where the sand dunes are located in the south of the island of Gran Canaria
The results show that the total area occupied by the 298 localized sexual meeting points is 5,763.85 m2.
These sexual spots are linked to the distance from the authorized trails in the protected area, to the presence of very dense vegetation, and to the dunes stabilized by vegetation (nebkhas).
The larger the size of the sex spot, the greater the number of people who use it, as well as the probability that it is a low area covered with vegetation and with a greater amount of waste.
Activities at these gendered points have a direct impact on the dunes and on eight native plant species, three of which are endemic.
The researchers point out that Maspalomas is not the only coastal dune field that records this type of activity in the world, since other similar places are known in Australia, France or Portugal, among many others.
“However, given the nature of the study and the complexity of performing socio-ecological analyzes of these processes, this type of event has been little studied.
For this reason, the subject on which this report is inscribed is of international interest, because, for the first time, it has been possible to characterize and analyze the environmental impact of this activity in a protected area ”, declared the spokesperson.
An aerial photograph of the dunes of Maspalomas on the Spanish Canary Island of Gran Canaria
“On a practical level, between September 2018 and July 2019, 159 of these points were eliminated and 1,244.49 m3 of dry vegetation were removed, uprooted and killed by the people who practice this activity in the aforementioned reserve.
The authors have said they have no intention of offending the LGBTI community and note that Gran Canaria has been gay-friendly for years, welcoming gay tourists from all over the world, especially from the UK, the US and Germany.
What they hope to get out of the report is a better understanding of how dune cruising can be managed and the environment protected when green issues are now so important.
In some of the sex sites, branches had been cut or bushes uprooted to provide more privacy and wastes were also left behind, including cigarette butts, torn / cut vegetation, toilet paper and wipes, preservatives, fruit peels and cans.
The report specifies: “The direct impacts generated around the sexual points can be observed in several ways, such as the impacts on vegetation, the abandonment of waste or the presence of urinal and defecation”, specifies the report. “In general, the data from the fieldwork allow us to calculate that a
A total area of 58 hectares was redesigned to build the 298 identified sex spots. The almost constant presence of people means that the dominant processes are human-induced processes such as walking on plants, removing plants and sand, creating nests. ‘
Since 2018, the authorities have been working on a major dune protection project.
The study found nearly 300 preferred locations on the vast sandy area on the south side of the island (shown in an aerial photograph)
“This is a benchmark environmental project whose main objective is to protect and conserve the natural area of the dunes, one of our most important environmental resources and a protected natural area of incalculable ecological value. “said a spokesperson for the island’s government.
“For several decades, the dune system has undergone increasingly evident degradation with a constant loss of sand, mainly due to urban development processes and human impact, which has changed the dynamics of wind and dunes.
It is estimated that around 45,000 cubic meters of sand is lost each year and ends up on the seabed. ‘
“This has caused an uncontrolled increase in vegetation in inland areas, reducing the area occupied by the dunes and increasing erosion, affecting biodiversity and generating a very negative impact on the animals and plants living in the area. If this situation continues, the dune reserve could disappear in less than a generation. ‘