People having sex on sand dunes is causing damage to local ecosystems, a study says.
A new study has found that people having sex on sand dunes is starting to cause havoc for plant life in the area.
A group of researchers analysed the impact of the activity in a protected dune field in Gran Canaria. They defined "cruising" as a practice of social interaction that consists of anonymous sexual encounters in open and/or closed public spaces.
The research found that a rise in outdoor sex is wreaking havoc on plant life in the area.
"The activities developed in these sex spots impact directly on the aeolian landforms and on eight natives, three of which are endemic species.
It is believed that this issue is caused by people leaving condoms, faecal matter and other litter in the area.
The report said: "the direct impacts generated around the sex spots can be observed in several ways, such as the impacts on the vegetation, the abandonment of waste or the presence of urinal and defecation locations.
"The most representative (in proportional order) are cigarette butts, torn/cut vegetation, toilet paper and wipes, condoms, fruit peel, cans and faeces.
"This activity produces direct impacts on the aeolian landforms and on the vegetation, as well as on the environment in general through the generation of waste and illegal toilet spots."
Co-author Professor Patrick Hesp said close monitoring is needed to help tackle the problem and better education on the damage cruising can cause.
It was added that there is also a similar problem at sand dunes at other coastal attractions.
"No matter what the human activity, popular coastal tourist locations need to closely monitor ecology and erosion trends".