December 13th, 2010
My friend Lisa has posted this excellent wildlife watching report to Extremadura. I love reports like this that don’t just focus on the birds. Lots of interesting stuff on insects, amphibians and as you can see, she chanced upon these otters at a “a small, reed-fringed reservoir” somewhere near Torrejon el Rubio. “Gambolling along the spit they chased away a competing Little egret before returning to the water and swimming towards the main body of the reservoir, followed by a very excited otter-watcher.” Read more here
June 9th, 2010
A badger running through the grass in Extremadura this May by the brilliant Spanish wildlife photographer Andoni Canela . More here
More on Badgers in Spain
October 5th, 2008
The first Iberian lynx are set to be transferred in 2010 to the new lynx breeding facilities in Zarza de la Granadilla, Extremadura, for their later release into the wild.
March 31st, 2008
I loved this photo in El País today Urbanización para cigüeñas. I think it’s somewhere in Extremadura. Someone correct me on this if I’m wrong.
February 21st, 2007
26/11/2006 150 new species are discovered every year in Spain
An interview with Mario GarcÃa ParÃs of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in todayâ€™s (El Pais) . I paraphrase.
â€œThere are some 60,000 species of animals in Spain, of which some 40,000 are insects. And we are incapable of knowing how many are catalogued. A species is a group of animals which are genetically compatible. There are worms which look the same but are different species and frogs which are as similar as an egg to chestnut tree, but which can breed.
It is impossible to know how many species are still to be recorded. One knows when most of the biological wealth of a country has been recorded when the rate of discovery slows down. This does not seem to be likely in the short term in Spain. Weâ€™ve been discovering some 150 new species a year since the late 1970s. And this rate has continued unabated. Since 1978, 3,627 new species have been discovered in the Peninsula, with a further 1,417 in the Canaries at an almost constant rate of 150 a year. “In the distribution maps of species there are dark areas around Madrid, Barcelona and Las Hurdes, in Extremadura. The county of Las Hurdes appears because several people from the museum spend their holidays there”.
There are even big gaps in knowledge with groups such as amphibians despite the legions of amateur naturalists out and about recording them. “A year ago we discovered a new midwife toad which only lives in the fountains of villages. We called it Alytes obstetricans pertynas. â€œPertinaciousâ€ because while most amphibians are becoming extinct, this one is resisting in human settlements”.
Spain because of its geographical position and the variety of its climate is particularly rich in biodiversity, but much of this being lost. “In the county you canâ€™t hear anything anymore. Ten years ago you heard and saw lots of insects. Now they are spraying everything and all is quiet. When I look at my field notes from 15 years ago describing swarms of bugs I think I must have been exaggerating, but the truth is I was only describing what I saw. When we visit Morocco today we see animals everywhere, just as it was here years ago. If a Goya is burnt. Itâ€™s a national tragedy, because it cannot be replaced. The same is true for a species but nobody seems to care”. See also Montseny Brook Newt