Its Orchid Season!

April 23rd, 2014 by Clive Muir

One of many of the amazing images by my good friend Sue Eatock. See her wildlife writing here.

Ophrys lutea

Trapping birds with limesticks – ‘paranys’

April 23rd, 2014 by Clive Muir

dying-birdSometimes it is hard to know what to write. I want to write about positive things and I want to show people what an amazing country I have chosen to make my home. I have many friends that work hard to protect the stunning place that is called Iberia. However, sometimes I am left speechless with a writers block that I fear will never become unstuck… Even though the press release from The Committee Against Bird Slaughter is (CABS) is over a year old I have spoken to a few people living in the Valencia area and they tell me that the practice of bird trapping with glue continues as normal… My mind will become unstuck and soon I will write again. the birds caught in these awful traps I am afraid have a different fate waiting for them.

For the first time ever CABS volunteers have managed to film the massacre with low-light cameras. “The material demonstrates that thousands of wild birds are cruelly killed and that numerous protected and endangered species are among the victims” states CABS President Heinz Schwarze. The video shows Thrushes and Blackcaps loudly and in panic fighting for their lives among the corpses of the conspecifics.

The website about this subject can be found here and you will see a link at the bottom of that page to sign a letter to be sent to the authorities… Do it now please?

And of course the subject can be discussed over at the Iberianature Forum

Thanks.

Wild sounds of Barcelona

April 22nd, 2014 by nick

Just under 4 minutes mini documentary about midwide toads in Montjuïc park, recorded on my mobile. 15 minutes walk from Les Rambles.

A bit of an experiment. First effort at sound recording and nature commentary. Listening back a little paused in the comments. As Lucy Brzoska pointed out to me, there’s a Sardian warbler there too.

Catalan Bonelli’s eagles are critically endangered.

April 12th, 2014 by Clive Muir

bonellis-paintingI just came across this fairly amazing website with very much up to date information and research into Western Europes Bonelli’s Eagle populations. The latest studies are showing that the population in Northern Spain is at greatest risk.

The studies, based long-term monitoring of Bonelli’s Eagle populations in the Iberian Peninsula have revealed demographic relationships among different populations and has provided an insight into population dynamics in Western Europe.

The Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata) is one of the most typical -and most endangered – raptors of the Mediterranean region and the Conservation Biology Group of the University of Barcelona (UB) has been researching this species Since 1980 perhaps the most amazing thing of all is the website is in English and all of the studies are freely available to read.

Go to the website – Conservation Biology Group of the University of Barcelona here.

And of course Join in on the subject over at the Iberianature forum.

One of the first examples of the Iberian lynx conservation project has died

April 10th, 2014 by Clive Muir

lince Esperanza - HopeThe first example of the Iberian lynx conservation and breeding program “Esperanza” (Hope in English) has died of old age and ill health

She was discovered in march 2001 by Miguel Delibes in the Coto del Rey are of Doñana National park with three siblings. One was already dead and another in a critical condition. one young healthy cub was taken to the recovery centre at Zoobotánico Jerez. (presumably leaving the other surviving cub with with her mother?) she was named “Hope” because of the possibility of starting a breeding project to help recover the species and was hand reared at the zoo. When she was 5 months old she was moved to the breeding center of Acebuche close to the town of El Rocio in the Doñana National Park.

From there the success story continued, she was the second female to breed in captivity and had three litters with a total of 5 cubs. She surprised may due to her excellent maternal behavior despite having beed reared by humans with bottled milk and of course the absence of other individuals of her species. In 2009 she was affected by a chronic kidney disease at an advanced stage , later that year she was also diagnosed with a breast tumor that was removed in June 2010.

In November 2010 Hope was retired to Jerez Zoo (one of the breeding centres for the project) as she was no longer viable for the breeding program. For the first time in 2013 the non viable lynx were available for the public to view whilst the viable breeders remained in the off-limits breeding areas. Recently her health deteriorated as a result of old age (she just turned 13) and the last stages of renal failure. Esperanza was moved to a facility away from public viewing and given veterinary care but Yesterday (9th April 2014) and after reaching an advanced state of suffering the decision was made to euthanize her.

During the last 13 years, Hope has been one of the most news covered Iberian lynx and has added a lot to the social and educational awareness of the species. She was the first hand reared  lynx and and fairly soon her first cub called “Cynara” will give birth to her own first litter.

Dating back to 2009 with an incredible 63,000 views why not join in at the Iberian lynx topic at the forum. Click here.