Tablas de Daimiel Park, Ciudad Real. Spain 2009

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Julio Escudero, a former fisherman who has been working all his life long in the national park of Las Tablas de Daimiel in Ciudad Real stands in a fisherman hut on November 16, 2009. The European Union launched an investigation into Spanish wetland that has turned bone dry through mismanagement of water resources  from areas where fish once swam. The EU wants the Spanish government to explain how it plans to save Las Tablas de Daimiel National Park.The park, one of Spain's few wetlands, is classified as a UNESCO biosphere site and an EU-protected area because of its birdlife. But it has been drying up for decades, largely because of wells dug by farmers on the edges of the park to tap an aquifer that feeds the wetland's lagoons. Many of the wells are illegal. Environmentalists call this case a particularly glaring example of how a natural resource can be abused. (c)Pedro ARMESTRE