It is common when traveling to come across mounds of stone on the mountainon the banks of rivers or in the beach. Although for photos it can be very picturesque to make pircas, as they are known in Argentina, or apachetas, as they are called in Mexico, scientists warn about the risks behind this practice that has become fashionable among travelers. .
In the past, the batteries stones They were used to mark roads and paths and in some cultures they are religious symbols. However, these stone sculptures that defy balance are no longer innocuous due to their massiveness.
The next time you travel and decide to stack stones you will think twice. According to researchers from the Center for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (Creaf), “the stones in the soil have multiple functions that are essential for the functioning of many ecosystems. With the absurd fashions and the increase in tourists, the mounds of stones have invaded valleys and mountains, beaches and shores, coasts and peaks”.
Carles Castell Puig, one of the Creaf researchers explains that the stones they are essential in nature, especially in those ecosystems that have extreme conditions: drought, salinity, wind, erosion. “In these places, the stones retain soil moisture, favor the germination of seeds and the rooting of plants, provide small spaces of shade and constitute an essential refuge and shelter, especially during the day, for many species of invertebrates” , explains the ecologist.
To stop the advance of this practice that leaves pircas in many natural tourist sites, some places began to put up informative signs asking visitors not to make lots of stones because they are not a natural element nor are they part of a traditional culture and they alter the landscape.
“When we arrive and we have the idea of sweeping away the stones and stacking them artistically does not exactly help to conserve space, since we completely transform the natural habitat”, warns Castell and exemplifies: “It is as if we forced the poor plants and little animals, accustomed to living in a small town with low floors, to adapt to an environment much more like Manhattan.
Environmentalists recall the importance of visiting natural destinations leaving as little footprint as possible, to preserve the ecosystems of each place.