Andalucia

Articles in ‘Andalucia’

Wildlife of the Sierra Morena documentary

December 14th, 2016

Stunning images in trailer for the WildMed documentary on the wildlife of Sierra Morena, the largest Mediterranean forest in the world.

Wildmed, el último bosque mediterráneo.

Iberian lynx news 2016

December 14th, 2016

A short summary of some news about the Iberian lynx in 2016:

On the postive side:

176 Iberian lynx have been released into the wild since 2009.

40 more will be released in different areas of Andalucia, Extremadura and Portugal in 2017. Specifically these areas are:

  • Portugal: Vale do Guadiana, Mértola
  • Spain : Valle de Matachel, Badajoz; Montes de Toledo, Toledo; Sierra Morena Oriental, Ciudad Real; Guadalmellato, Córdoba and Guarrizas, Jaén. More here

19 Iberian lynx cubs were born in 2016 in the subpopulation of Castilla-La Mancha. More here

48 cubs were born in captivity in 2016. Here

More worryingly:

13 lynxes have been killed on roads so far in 2016

Iberian lynx has the lowest known genetic variety in any mammal. Here

A Spanish Shepherd by Richard Ansdell

December 1st, 2016

richard_ansdell_-_a_spanish_shepherd_1863

A Spanish Shepherd (1863) by Liverpool-born Richard Ansdell. The artist had travelled in southern Spain in the 1850s.

 

The Caminito del Rey, El Chorro

November 26th, 2014

The new Caminito del Rey

The new Caminito del Rey

Interesting news coming from Malaga province of Andalucia with the Caminito del Rey or “Kings path” almost about to reopen. The Caminito is famous to climbers and adrenalin junkies the world over after the death defying video was loaded onto you tube in 2009.

The pathway was originally built over 100 years ago, pinned to the side of the Gaitanes gorge to get materials and to allow for inspections between the three Guadalhorce dams.

But now, with a total investment of around 11 million Euros, the broken and dangerous path has been restored and is due to open to the public in January 2015. Not without it’s polemics as local climbers (and worldwide) are complaining that their favorite European radical climbing site will be spoiled with the influx of thousands of us ordinary folk wanting to walk the new and safe path. Time will tell what happens but one thing is for sure, this tiny village of El Chorro needs to get ready for mass tourism fairly quickly.

Full informaation (in English) over at www.caminodelrey.es

The Rain in Grazalema

March 9th, 2014

weather-set-1One of my favorite writers in Spain, Sue Eatock who lives in Grazalema – Andalucía, has been studying the wildlife in her area for more than 10 years now. In one of her latest articles she explains why Grazalema gets the highest rainfall in Spain.

“Grazalema has the highest rainfall records in Spain’. This is a phrase that is commonly found on the internet, but without further explanation could be very off putting to the holiday maker! Mountains will always alter their local climate where-ever they are in the world, and this is no exception. Note that only a few hours drive away at the eastern end of Andalucia is Europe’s only desert!

The most green and humid areas of the Spanish Peninsular are the northern coastal zones which face the Atlantic ocean and from the Pyrenees mountain chain to the Catalan coast of the Mediterranean. These areas have rainy weather with a precipitation average of over 800 mm per annum and yet statistically the village of Grazalema in Andalusia is famous because of the fact that it receives the most rainfall in the  iberian Peninsular. Some years recording more than 2000mm. Read the rest of this entry

Ospreys as a tourist attraction

November 5th, 2013

The reintroduction programme which was begun in 2003 of the osprey in Andalucia is proving a success. This year the nine pairs of osprey have raised 31 chicks. Now the Andalusian government plans to use the birds to attract tourists, following the UK examples of a Welsh observation post, Rutland Water and Sutherland in luring visitors.  More in El País

Iberian lynx distribution

November 3rd, 2013

Distribution of the Iberian lynx in Andalucia in 2012. The latest census (2013 but figures for 2012) give some 305 lynxes in the wild and 85 females with territories. Source Crónica Verde

The Iberian lynx and the Scottish wildcat

October 4th, 2013

Good article comparing the relative efforts of Spain and Scotland to save its endangered felines: the Iberian lynx and the Scottish wildcat. The first, principally the Andalucian government, has spent 30 million euros, the latter,just 200,000. The lynx is on its rocky way to some form of recovery, while the wildcat looks likes becoming extinct within a decade or two. Here in the Guardian

Iberian Lynx in 2013

July 22nd, 2013

Some good news from Spain for a change: the remarkable success of the Iberian lynx conservation programme so far, which has seen the lynx’s population triple to some 312 individuals in Andalucia since 2002.

I would say the importance of its success goes beyond Spain: if Europe had been incapable of preventing the extinction of a major predator (and a completely harmless one to humans), how could it then go on to preach wildlife conservation under far more difficult circumstances to developing countries?

The image shows an Iberian lynx born in captivity taking its first step into the wild in Despeñaperros natural park,

More in El País here and good summary here by Stephen Burgen in The Guardian.

 

March news

March 29th, 2011

I’ve been woefully neglecting this section of iberianature recently. Here are a couple of recent wildlife stories in the English press.

The Missing Lynx (The Guardian) Good article. “Ten years ago, there were barely 100 Iberian lynx left. But an innovative Spanish conservation programme is rescuing them from the edge of extinction”

And this story about ancient giant bunnies from Menorca reported in The Scientist

The skeletal remains of a 26-pound rabbit was found on an island off the coast of Spain. Dubbed the Minorcan King of the Rabbits, this ancient rabbit lived approximately three to five million years ago and now adds evidence to a curious rule concerning the evolution of animals in islands. The so-called “island rule” states that big animals will get smaller and small animals (such as rabbits) will get bigger when the population is isolated on an island, perhaps due to the lack of mainland predators. In this case, the King is a whopping six-times larger than living European rabbits, but due to a rigid spine and short legs, it was also unable to hop.