Articles in ‘Wolves’
December 11th, 2014
Lobos en el recinto de Cabárceno / Teresa Cobo
Interesting news that people are up in arms about the 8 wolves shot last month at the Cabárceno natural park/zoo…
It’s a difficult decision but if you can’t let the wolves out into the wild and the captive population is too big for it’s confines then it seems to me the only option is culling…
Full news in Spanish here…
Follow and join in on the topic over at the Iberianature Forum
April 8th, 2014
The governing Partido Popular party of Spain have called for a national census of the Iberian wolf which is about time too as the last reliable census was taken in 1988. The Government will create an updated population census on the Iberian peninsular but presumably this won’t include Portugal. This census will then help to implement a national strategy for the conservation and management of the Iberian wolf and would serve as a key instrument for the conservation and efficient management of the species.
There are claims that some of the major regions with populations of wolf have conflicting management plans For example, the Iberian wolf is a game species north of the Duero, Castilla y León and Galicia But in Asturias sport hunting for this species is not allowed. Sport hunting no but “control” yes. On the 21st of August 2013 “Matley” a wolf that was fitted with a transmitter and part of a scientific monitoring project was “controlled”
“We believe that there should be detailed studies on the status of the wolf in Spain and it’s coexistence with other species and this information will help to avoid unwarranted persecution and also to allow better coordination of conservation plans across the country.”
Here is an (outdated but good information page on the Iberian Wolf)
Here is the article on the subject in Spanish
And of course the Wolf topic over at Iberianature Forum…
March 17th, 2014
An interesting article in the Guardian about the Iberian Wolf states that Spain is now a wolf stronghold and there are thought to be more than 250 breeding groups totaling more than 2,000 individuals. But, is the Spanish economic “crisis” really the reason for population increase or is it because of better education, local awareness and more land under the protective arm of natural and national parks?
See also the Iberianature Forum Topic – Wolves in Spain
Wolves traditionally flourish in times of political and economic crisis. Their return to Europe in the past 20 years is thought to be linked to widespread rural depopulation and the collapse of the Soviet Union. The demise of the USSR saw a near 50% increase in the number of wolves in the 1990s, as animals that had been kept under control by state-sponsored culling were left to roam unchecked and many packs crossed into sparsely populated areas of Poland, Germany and Scandinavia. Read the rest of this entry
July 22nd, 2013
Wonderful trap video by FAPAS of boars, a wolf and a bear crossing a stream somewhere in Asturias. 1 minute, 30 seconds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZpMNbMdSjAQ
April 5th, 2011
The wolf appears to have firmly returned to Catalonia after an absence of more than 70 years. In the last few years a dozen or so animals have been gradually arriving from France (see below) and settled in the Pyrenees, and have even reached as far south as the Vallés Oriental. The news was released in the latest issue of the Spanish wildlife journal Quercus which reports the presence of up to 13 different individuals, some identified only once and others that appear and disappear depending on the year. However, so far all animals have been males, except for a female detected in 2008. This is a common pattern, as young males tend to be the first to disperse, which explains in part why so far there is no evidence of breeding in Catalonia.The wolves have been detected in across an area of some 1,400 square kilometers in the Cadi mountains and other surrounding mountain ranges in Alt Urgell, Cerdanya, Alt Solsonès, and Berguedà. Unsurprisingly, the animal’s return has revived the traditional conflict with farmers and in the early years there was an average annual loss of about 80 head of livestock, although in some years more than 200 were lost. These attacks on livestock, for which farmers are compensated, have declined dramatically following various protective measures: just 3 sheep were lost in 2009 and 10 in 2010. ABC + Photo from here
How long before they reach Barcelona’s Collserola I wonder.
I wrote this last year
Tests have shown that this new influx of wolves in Catalonia is genetically Italian in origin, forming part of an expansion over a number generations out from the Apennines. The Apennine population began to expand in several directions from the early 1990’s. It moved north into the Italian and Swiss Alps; north-east into the French Alps and Lyon, and east towards the Pyrenees, reaching the Maritime Alps near Nice by 1996, Saboya by 1998. An individual was detected between Areja and French Cerdenya by August 1998 in the Madres Massif, just to the north of Canigó, and finally by 2004 into the Cadí range. The last Catalan wolf was shot in Horta de Sant Joan, in Tarragona in 1929, though the animal is thought to have disappeared from the Sierra de Cadí more than 100 years ago
May 12th, 2010
I’ve just come across the remarkable true story of Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja, a boy who spent 12 years as a boy living with wolves in the Sierra de Cardeña in the Sierra Morena. His story is now being told in a new film entitled Entre lobos to be released in October.
Feralchildren.com have written this description of him:
Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja was born on the 7 May 1946, and remembers being taken away at the age of 7 by a man on a reddish horse. He believes he was sold or hired to tend goats, a not unusual arrangement for children of that age. It also wasn’t unusual for goatherds to live up on the mountains with their animals and only visit human habitation every few years.
Marcos Pantoja left on his own
Marcos worked with an old goatherd for possibly several months before the man died, but in that time he’d learnt to fend for himself in the mountains, looking after the herd of goats and ensuring they bred successfully. He made friends with wolves, and lived variously in a cave, an old hut, and a hut that he built himself.
I don’t have time to translate this at the moment but this description in El País of how he befriended the wolves is truly remarkable:
–Yo estaba preparado con el cuchillo. La carne que yo no quería se la llevaba a los lobillos. Los padres no me dejaban, pero como veían que yo les llevaba de comer, cogieron confianza. Yo olía como ellos. Cuando yo quería que vinieran, cuando me veía que no tenía salida, empezaba a aullar. Venían varios lobos y, como se daban cuenta de que estaba perdido, se tiraban a mí dando saltos y me cogían los brazos con la boca hasta que yo reía. Empezaban a jugar. Luego me señalaban el camino hasta la cueva de ellos y, desde allí, yo ya sabía irme. Me divertía yo solo con los animales.
Y se entendía con ellos. Con sus mismos sonidos. En cuanto uno menos se lo espera, Marcos, hoy, coge una hoja del suelo y se la pone en la boca. Pij, pij, pij… El ruido que hace el águila. Y también imita el de la perdiz macho. Y el de la perdiz hembra. Marcos era uno más en la naturaleza. “Dormía con la zorra. La zorra era la primera que se metía debajo de mis piernas cuando había tormenta o llovía”. También vivió un tiempo con una camada de ratones, a los que daba leche de cabra. Y siempre planeaba por allí algún águila, a la que le troceaba los conejos o perdices que atrapaba. “Ponía la presa en un plato de aquellos de corcho y más contentos… Acariciaba a las águilas, las besaba, y se iban más contentas…”. Janer, el antropólogo, analiza estos pasajes: “Marcos no inventa, pero cubre con la imaginación su necesidad de saberse querido por alguien”.
March 8th, 2010
The first female wolf in 80 years has been detected in Catalonia in the Sierra de Cadí. The first wolf in the Cadi was detected in 2004. More from Crónica Verde.
Tests have shown that this new influx of wolves in Catalonia is genetically Italian in origin, forming part of an expansion over a number generations out from the Apennines. The Apennine population began to expand in several directions from the early 1990’s. It moved north into the Italian and Swiss Alps; north-east into the French Alps and Lyon, and east towards the Pyrenees, reaching the Maritime Alps near Nice by 1996, Saboya by 1998. An individual was detected between Areja and French Cerdenya by August 1998 in the Madres Massif, just to the north of Canigó, and finally by 2004 into the Cadí range. The last Catalan wolf was shot in Horta de Sant Joan, in Tarragona in 1929, though the animal is thought to have disappeared from the Sierra de Cadí more than 100 years ago. More on wolves in Spain
There is a curious historical coincidence with Catalan wolves and Pablo Picasso. Horta de Sant Joan (where the last wolf was shot) was were Picasso is often considered to have developed cubism for the first time and he famously declared, “All I know is thanks to Horta de Sant Joan“. The great artist also spent some time in Gósol, the centre of the Cadí (where the new wolves have arrived), from the spring of 1906 to mid-August of that same year, where his works have been called his Gósol period. There are small Picasso museums in both villages which quite reasonably take advantage of his illustrious stays to promote themselves.
March 8th, 2010
New one for Places in Spain. A shrine to a woman supposedly devoured by wolves
on Mt Gorbea in the Basque Country.
March 8th, 2010
This remarkable sculpture of a wolf head is from Jaén in the early 4th BCE. The ears pinned back and the wrinkled muzzle suggest a threatening posture. It forms part of the so-called Heroic Sanctuary of El Pajarillo (Huelma, Jaén). It tells the story of a hero who confronted a wolf in the presence of two mythological beings. The hero frees a youth from the wild animal. On show at the Museum of Jaén.
This forum post in Spanish discusses the role of wolves in ancient Iberian society.
March 8th, 2010
Radio interview on Canal Ser with Carlos Sanz, perhaps the biggest expert on wolves in Spain and livestock farmer Rodrigo Peñalosa, looking at both sides of the debate around wolves in Spain. Listen here