Barbary sheep ‘not an invasive species’

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Barbary sheep should no longer be considered pests, Spanish scientists conclude (Photo: Wikipedia)

By Richard Torné

A rare type of mountain goat introduced into Spain more than 45 years ago should no longer be included in the country’s list of invasive species, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) has concluded.

Barbary Sheep were introduced in Murcia’s Sierra Espuña mountains in 1970 as a game species and have since expanded throughout much of south eastern Spain, including Almería province.

Although classed as an endangered animal by the International Union for Conservation of Nature organisation, Barbary sheep are also included in the environment ministry’s ‘Spanish catalogue of exotic invasive species’.

Such species “threaten native biodiversity” as they compete with indigenous breeds such as the Iberian Ibex, according to the Government and environmentalists.

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