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Wildlife Protectors Take Swing at Tallinn Golf Course Plan

Source: Photo: Pärnu Postimees / Scanpix

Wildlife protection activists are demanding that the City of Tallinn scrap a plan to convert a bog into a public golf course, describing it as ecologically disruptive.

Tallinn officials announced on August 25 that a municipally-funded pay-and-play golf course would be constructed at Pääsküla, about 15 minutes from the city center and near the suburb of Nõmme.

No sooner was the future construction announced than two wildlife protection groups - the Estonian Animal Protection Society and the Baltic Herpetology Society - declared their intention to block the plan.

"The construction of a golf course would cost money better spent on renovating our decaying kindergartens," said Heiki Valner, the president of the Animal Protection Society.

Valner was alluding to mounting criticism of Tallinn government officials for not allocating municipal funds to the upkeep of sorely underfunded early learning institutions.

According to wildlife protection activists, the indigenous species at risk include snakes, woodpeckers and goshawks. 
They cite the precedent of housing projects in Nõmme as predicting what will happen to these vulnerable species if the golf course is built: the entire snake and small reptile population was driven out of the naturally marshy land, many of them being crushed by tractors and construction vehicles.

Andres Kahar
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