Wolves, boars and capercaillie

The stable presence of the wolf in the Cordillera Cantábrica provides a natural check on wild boar, which are expanding throughout Spain in ever greater numbers into just about every ecosystem (there were reports recently from the Basque Country of boars foraging on beaches and even being spotted swimming at sea).

This check on the boar population may well be good news from the incredibly endangered capercaillie, whose Cantabrian population has plummeted in recent years. One explanation for this is the incursion of the boar into the capercaillie's habitat. Boars search for food. Whenever they come across capercaillie eggs or chicks they gobble them up. The wildlife group FAPAS is convinced that the presence of the wolf in the Cantabrian Mountains is essential to put a natural check on boars. Studies have shown that a significant part of wolves in Cantabrian forests is made up of boar.

The capercaillie's population has fallen by 70% in the Cordillera Cantábrica in the last 22 years, and experts predict that the bird could disappear from here by 2020. As its range shrinks, the two remaining populations are on the point of becoming separated. See also Capercaillie in Spain + wolves in Spain

(Dec. 2004)

See also wildlife in Spain - Wolf watching in the Sierra de la Culebra - Spanish Bear News - Iberian Lynx News - Iberian Lynx - Badgers in Spain - Wolves in Spain -Wolves, boars and capercaillie - Deer in Spain - Barbary apes in Gibraltar - European and American mink - Coypu in Spain - Pyrenean mountain goat - English-Spanish-Latin mammal checklist for Spain - Comparative table of Castilian and Catalan dictionaries on zoology -- Bats in Spain - Chamois in Spain - European and American mink - Acorns and rats in Castile Mammals in Spain -Wild Cats in Spain


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