Archive for the ‘León’ Category

Illegal hunting ring broken

Monday, December 1st, 2008

An important illegal hunting ring has been broken in the Cantabrian mountains of Asturias and León where two and six men respectively have been arrested. Various arms were found in their houses along with frozen and dried animal remains. Included among the boar, deer and rebeco (chamois) discoveries were specimens of endangered animals, a European Genet and a Capercaillie, the latter a species threatened with extinction in these mountains. The men were arrested following months of detective work by Seprona, the wildlife protection unit of the Guardia Civíl, and are suspected of charging money for guiding hunts as also found were large amounts of cash and paperwork stamped and ready for the transportation of the “trophies”. Other possible species to be found in the area concerned are Cantabrian brown bear and Iberian wolf. The case is continuing and more arrests are likely.

News from 



Bear caught in snare

Friday, August 22nd, 2008


The young bear with the snare embedded around its body

A team of specialists was mustered on Wednesday to track a bear that had been caught in a snare trap in the Páramo del Síl, Bierzo area of León. The bear had managed to detach the wire snare from a tree where it had been illegally laid but escaped with it still around its middle. The regional governments of Castilla and León, Asturias and Cantabria are collaborating with experts from the Fundación Oso Pardo, the Cabárceno wildlife park and the University of León to try to anaesthetise the injured animal and treat its abdominal wounds although their efforts are being hampered by problems in getting close enough to succesfully dart the bear. The dark colouring of its fur leads the experts to believe the bear to be a male, and definitely young. It has been observed feeding but the team are concerned that the wounds could become infected. The digiscoped image of the bear shows how the snare is embedded around its abdomen, in the area of its kidneys, and highlights the thin state of the animal, who has been suffering now for a week since it was first spotted. The fine for causing the death of a bear ranges from €200,000 – €2,000,000.

News from La Crónica

More on IberiaNature forum

Saving the Cantabrian Capercaillie from extinction

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

A male Capercaillie displaying

As part of the Spanish ornithological society SEO/Birdlife’s campaign, El Sonido del Bosque (Sounds of the Forests), work-camps will begin this August to improve the habitat of the Cantabrian Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus cantábricus) in the Picos de Europa National Park. Working through to mid-December while the birds are at their most inactive, they hope to help promote the growth of berry-bearing plants and, at the same time, identify the Capercaillie population within the areas where the field-work will be concentrated. The last censuses of the remaining main populations centred in Asturias and León were carried out in 2001 and 1998-2000 respectively and gave a figure of about 400 individuals in total. SEO/Birdlife give a figure of 500, which supposedly takes into account the numbers of Capercaillie in the subspecies’ other habitats of Galicia and Cantabria, a number strongly refuted by the Asturian ornithological society, the Coordinadora Ornitolóxica d’Asturies, who say the total population must now be only about half that number.

Wind farm construction in Capercaillie habitat paralysed by judge

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Judge halts windpark in capercaillie territory
The Regional Government of Castilla y León ordered to explain why they authorised the works

The San Feliz windpark will have to wait. The heavy machinery belonging to the company Producciones Energéticas del Bierzo entered the León side of the Cantabrian Mountains in order to “pave the way” for the wind turbines. They don’t care that the area is one of the few remaining in which the Capercaillie still breeds. The alarm raised by the researchers specialising in this endangered species – there’s even a ringed female that they are monitoring on a daily basis – led the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO) to request the courts to halt the works as an emergency measure. And even though judges are reluctant to take such steps, León’s Court No. 1 for Contentious Administrative Proceedings ruled that the works were to be halted. In his ruling, the judge stated that “the required urgency is crystal-clear”.
News originally found in El País and translated by Technopat on Iberianature forum.

Wolf tales

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Lucy posted this on the forum
“The San Emiliano hostel I stayed in this summer had an interesting book issued by the Diario de Leon: “El Siglo de Leon – todos sus pueblos y sus gentes. Vol. 1” – in fact it’s one of those series of supplements which you can have bound into a book if you collect them all…. The book in general was fascinating – stuffed with old photographs, including some heartbreaking ones of slain bears…..This story concerns an inhabitant of the village Lumajo, 1,360 metres high, in the Somiedo area, in 1860. ”

Here is my quick translation

“Pedro del Potro Riesco was a young man who entered the Army at an early age and by the age of 23 was already a second lieutenant. Returning on leave one day in December, he left his cart in Villaseca and had to walk the last steep 5km to his home. Not long after setting out he realised that there were two wolves following him and when he stopped, they would do the same. He hurried on, but they drew closer and closer, and as he approached the village he he could their tails brush between their legs. Then, just in time, the dogs belonging to Sabugo (a well known lawyer whose family lived in the area)  caught the scent of the beasts and set off in pursuit. The young man was able to reach his home,  but he was so shocked and scared that he was struck dumb for eight long days. When he finally recovered his speech the following week, he asked his mother for an omelette with eight eggs.
‘It is to give to Sabugo the lawyer’s dogs, for they saved my life.’

For wolf fright, see also Dave mother-in-law’s story from el Bierzo also in León.

Wolves in Somiedo

Triperias de León

Friday, July 27th, 2007

I was impressed by the idiosyncrasy and number of the triperias of the city of Leon on my last visit there. Everything you need to make a chorizo. All things pig.


Fotos de Triperias de León Leon Triperias, León Triperia