IberiaNature A guide to the natural history of Spain
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Humans and wolves in the Sierra de la Culebra


Elements of traditional architecture were designed in response to the wolf. This is a corrala (not corral!), a construction unique to the area. The heather thatch edging with an open centre protected sheep against both the rain and the wolf, and should the latter have managed to jump in, it would never have got out.

Most corralas are falling into disuse. A few have been restored as folk monuments. These days, shepherds lock up their flocks in warehouses.


A muladar. After being put down, old donkeys and horses are thrown here to accustom wolves to feeding here. Rich hunters pay to for the privilege of shooting a wolf. An auction is held every year in Villardeciervos for right to hunt 2-4 wolves in the Reserva de Caza de La Sierra de la Culebra. They go for around 6,000 euros a piece, less than for a prize red deer. Whatever we may well feel about some rich toff blasting away a defenceless animal, hunting 2-4 individuals within the Reserve has little or no impact on the wolf population. Wolves like foxes and are an R-strategy species (basically, they breed fast) and can withstand up to 50% mortality a year. Outside the reserve it may well be another story. See Shepherds and mastins



Trip details

Trip report 1

Trip report 2

Sierra de la Culebra geography

Humans and wolves in the Sierra de la Culebra

Shepherds and mastins

Wolf tracking

Wolves in Spain
(complete article)

Reasons for the rise in the wolf population in Spain

Distribution, habitat and diet of wolves in Spain - Iberian wolf population (2005 estimates)

Conflict with livestock and humans

Wolf traditions and legends in Spain

Half-wolf, half-dog hybrids

The return of the wolf to Catalonia

Wolves in Iberian Languages


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