Archive for November, 2007

Urban wildlife in Madrid

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Urban wildlife in Madrid. 30 minutes. Rather good.

Aerial photos of Catalonia – 1929

Friday, November 30th, 2007


I came across this remarkable set of aerial photos of Catalonia. Above the Delta del Llobregat, now a sad vestige of its former glory. Continue reading … (more…)

Three wolves killed illegally in Valladolid

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Three wolves killed in Valladolid in an illegal hunt (20 minutos). Last year 122 wolves were legally hunted in Castilla y León in the legal hunting season between the end of September and early February. South of the Duero, wolf hunting is currently banned, but the EU has recently given its approval to change the law.

Madness in La Manga

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

A series of excellent posts by Jill et al on the forum with some amazing photos of coastal erosion in La Manga where they are building houses right on the beach. She notes “Why does anybody buy into these projects? It seems to me that it is 50 percent grab-it-while-you-can-(and-hope-to-leave-the-next-fellow-holding-the-hot-potato) and 50 percent mass credulity.” (Forum)

Climate change report on Spain

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

A new report (PDF) for the Spanish government paints a grim picture for the country for the late 21st century with extreme temperatures in the summer, the wholescale desertification of the south, a collapse in biodiversity (with for example 97% of reptiles and amphibians affected), a big reduction of water resources, particularly in the south, a rise in sea level of 15cm leading from 15-70m lost in beaches. (El Pais) More soon.

Spanish conservationists pleased with new biodiversity law

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Spanish conservationists pleased with new biodiversity law (SEO)

Spanish agriculture

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

New, brief guide to agriculture in Spain

Sheep and goats in the Picos de Europa

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

Lisa has some great photos over at the forum of a sheep and goat show in Potes, Picos de Europa, organised by Fundation for the Conservation of the Lammergeyer. She notes “The FCQ hopes to re-introduce three Lammergeyer into the Picos next spring. SEO Asturias have their misgivings over the release, however, due to the still prevalent practice of poisoned bait being put down for other species. The more interaction and dialogue between everyone the better I think, if this practice is to be stamped out.” Below Picos goat breed. Read and see photos on the forum

Calatanazor juniper forest

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

The Sabinar de Calatanazor is a remarkable forest of Spanish juniper (Juniperus thurifera) in Soria near the village of Calatanazor. Read

Paca and Tola

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Paca and Tola are two female bears which were orphaned 1989, at the age of four months when a hunter killed their mother and took the two cubs. The cubs were rescued by Fapas and Seprona after a tip-off and now live in semi-captivity in a large mountainside enclosure. Now they are to be mothers.

Photo of Tola and additional research by Lisa of picos-accommodation

The Fundación Oso de Asturias plan to mate them with a another male bear used to captivity in spring 2008, when they come into heat after hibernation. (LNE) The problem is that there is currently no captive male Cantabrian bear, so a bear from another “group” is probably to be used. I use the term “group” as the extistence of Ursus arctos Cantabricus as a separate sub-species is under debate.

The two bears live in a 5000m2 mountainside enclosure and have become a popular tourist attraction and have played a very important role in raising environmental awareness about bears in Asturias. Watch them here . There are references to bears almost every week in the local press and people love talking about them. One has the impression that bears in general and Paca and Tola specifically are quasi-nationalist symbols in Asturias, and much loved…unlike wolves.

Most of the time you can’t see them as their hidden in the rocks, scrub and trees, but they come down at 12:00 am every day to eat. I saw both Paca and Tola taking a bath this August as we all watched on, sweltering outside their enclosuse. The enclosure is in the beautiful Concejo de Trubia. Paca at the end of an excellent cycle path which runs along an old mining railtrack, known as La Senda del Oso. The path (or rather network of paths) runs through tunnels, across bridges and through a spectacular gorge. Reasonably-priced cycle hire is available at each end. They’ve also got cycle with back seats for little kids which is what we used. More here

Read the forum thread on Paca and Tola here