Archive for the ‘Sierra de la Culebra’ Category

Origin of Sanabria

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Sanabria lake

Lake Sanabria on a stormy day in April. This is the largest glacial lake in Spain formed during the last Ice Age though the local legend claims a more colourful origin.

On a cold wintery day, a man arrived at the village of Valverde de Lucerna. He was starving and asked for something to eat, but the menfolk told him to be gone. They did not want his kind in their village. Some women baking bread though took pity on him and gave a few crusts. He bade the women to take to the hills, and then he took his staff and drove into the ground commanding water to rise from the hole. Out it gushed, flooding the village and drowning all the men. The waters continued to rise until the lake was formed. All that remained of the village was the roof tip of the bakery, which now forms the little island in the centre of the lake.

The disaster of Lake Sanabria

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Interesting documentary narrating the tragic events of 9th January 1949 when a dam upstream of Lake Sanabria, the largest in lake in Spain, burst. A wall of water swept down the Tera Valley and engulfed the village of Ribadelago. Around 100 people were killed. The Francoist authorities covered up the report on the defective construction of the dam.

More on Sanabria including contemporary news report by Time Magazine (iberianature) “One night last week all was quiet in Ribadelago. In the tavern men were playing cards. At the church Father Plácido Esteban-Gonzalez had just arrived on his motor scooter from the provincial capital of Zamora. An electrician named Rey was working late in his shop. Shortly after midnight the lights in the village flickered out. At the tavern, irritated cardplayers lit candles, went on with their game. Suddenly, a distant, muffled roar was heard..Read

Wolf hunting in Castilla-Leon

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Spanish TV’s documentary flagship Informe Semanal showed this documentary last week about the illegal shooting of wolves in Castilla-León where every year as many as 500-600 wolves are killed by hunters, 90’% of which are shot illegally.

The new wolf hunting management plan in Castilla y León is alarming Spanish conservationists. The price for shooting a wolf in Castilla y León is set at 3000 euros. Meanwhile, many more are killied illegally, some of which because of an increasing interest among illegal hunting rings under the tacit protection of the regional government. In most of Castilla-León, wolves enjoy scant support as they are responsible for some 300,000 euros in sheep deaths. This has become much worse with the removal of carrion because of the BSE crisis. Yet, as I have mentioned here many times before the opportunities of wolf tourism as shown in the Sierra de la Culebra, offers a different way forward.

Photos of wolves

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Wil Luiif has sent me these remarkable photos of a wolf in the Sierra de la Culebra he took this April.

Wil organises English-language trips to watch wolves in Zamora, possibly in the future in collaboration with iberianature. More here at Aragonnatuur or send him an email. Don’t be put off by the Dutch, his English is better than mine. More on Iberian wolves and have a look at the archive on wolves

Traditional huts in Spain

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

The iberianatureforum image gallery just gets better and better. Check out here the array of huts everybody has collected from around Spain. And it’s only been going three weeks. Here below a corrala from the Sierra de la Culebra.


A corrala (not corral!) is a traditional construction unique to the the Sierra de la Culebra. The heather thatch edging with an open centre protected sheep against both the rain and the wolf, and should the latter have managed to jump in, it would never have got out.

Most corralas are falling into disuse. A few have been restored as folk monuments. These days, shepherds lock up their flocks in warehouses.

Wolf photos

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

Wil Luiif sent me these great photos wolves in the Sierra de la Culebra he took this October.

Wil organises English-language trips to watch wolves in Zamora, possibly in the future in collaboration with iberianature. More here at Aragonnatuur or send him an email. Don’t be put off by the Dutch, his English is better than mine. More on Iberian wolves

lobo sierra de la culebra

lobo zamora

Iberian wolf photos

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Some great wolf photos by Andoni Canela from this Sunday’s La Vanguardia’s magazine as part of an article on wolves in Spain. This year in Villardeciervos (Zamora)three wolves were auctioned for hunting in the Sierra de la Culebra, but this is coming increasingly into question with the rise of wolf watching tourism in the area. Come wolf watching with Iberianature from 11-16th October 2007.

wolf watching in the Sierra de la Culebra

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

Another fascinating trip to the Sierra de la Culebra, this time with students from Barcelona and Girona universities. A fun crowd. One living wolf, plus, unfortunately, this. Read here.

Conflicts with wolves in Spain

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

12/12/2006 Conflicts with wolves in Spain (press note). 23 minutes. The Sierra de la Culebra is a model to follow. Click on play. Another Spain Wolf documentary here

Trip to Sierra de la Culebra

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

12/12/2006. Another great trip to the Sierra de la Culebra, that immense, empty landscape on the north-east frontier with Portugal, organised by Galanthus. Iberian newt tadpoles. salamanders, some 30 red deer, 2 foxes, and 5 black vultures flying over the place we were staying. On the way back we stopped off at Vilafafila for ten minutes and I saw my first long tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis), a rarity at that site, and a throng of fifteen great bustards, the heaviest flying bird in the world. Oh and we also watched a big male wolf moving slowly through the scrub, as ravens picked at an animal it had presumably killed, and a fox struggled to drag off a piece of the carcass. More on this and some great photos also not by me soon.

 Photo by Jordi Dalmau Caner