Archive for April, 2008

Gibraltar’s apes to be culled

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Gibraltar is to cull a pack of 25 of the Barbary macaques after they have taken to breaking into hotel rooms and scavenging in bins in the town centre. El Mundo or  Daily Telegraph. The current Gibraltar population of the Barbary macaque, often termed erroneously as I have done as an ape, numbers more than 200. More on them here

Lynx cub news

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

The Iberian lynx breeding programme is expecting five more female lynxes to give birth this week in El Acebuche, Doñana and two at the new La Olivilla centre in Santa Elena, Jaén. The mother’s names are Esperanza, Aura and Aliaga (El Acebuche) and Castañuela and Barraca – (La Olivilla). Last weekend Adelfa and Boj also gave birth to litters in El Acebuche. Terra

Video here of Boj and her cubs

On the negative side three lynx cubs have been found dead in the Coto del Rey, apparently from malnutricion. The litter of four were micro-chipped at the end of March when, according to WWF/Adena, two of them should have been taken from their mother due to the unlikelyhood of them all surviving naturally. According to their sources, the cubs weren’t in the best of health then. Follow this on the forum

Photos from Programa de Conservación Ex-Situ del Lince ibérico

Climate change issues in Spain

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Useful summary on climate change issues in Spain here from Celius. “As far as European countries go, Spain is on the front lines of climate change….Spring is now coming two weeks earlier in Spain, causing 23 more hot days than 30 years ago. This has a tremendous impact on the agricultural cycle in the country, as well as the wildlife. Bears in the northern mountain regions have stopped hibernating and Dung beetles in northern Spain have shifted habitat as temperatures have increased..” Iberianature archive on climate change.

Spanish water wars

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Spain is struggling to deal with the worst drought since the 1940s: reservoirs stand at 46 per cent of capacity and rainfall over the past 18 months has been 40 per cent below average. After months of low rainfall, parched Catalonia has had to appeal to Madrid for help – and now ecologists fear the costs of a long-term solution. The Guardian

Lynx in Doñana died of hunger, trapped

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

It seems the death last week of the death of the only autochthonous male lynx left in Doñana was due to by starvation and thirst. The lynx seems to have jumped over a 2 metre high fence into a new reintroduction area which has been set up to acclimatise other lynx brought in from the Sierra Morena. The animal was wearing a radio-tracking collar (as part of the €26m Life project) and there are now questions of why the people monitoring it, did not notice. News from El Mundo or See forum thread on this

Iberianatureforum meeting

Friday, April 4th, 2008

For readers of this blog who are not also members of the forum I thought I’d quickly tell you about the upcoming first Iberianatureforum meeting in Grazalema from 12-17 April. About 20 people will be attending what we jokingly refer to as the “summit”. The meeting is being hosted by Clive and Sue who have put in a great deal of work so many thanks to them. They’ve organised hikes, bird tours and a trip to see the lynx breeding centre at Jerez Zoo accompanied by zoo curator Iñigo who is also a member of the forum. The next meetings are pencilled in for Picos de Europa in autumn and possibly Soria further in the future.

Vulture feeding stations in the Sierra de Guara

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Vulture feeding stations in the Sierra de Guara

Interesting article here from birdguide.com about Vulture feeding stations in the Sierra de Guara.
“The authorities have set up a number of feeding stations where carcases are provided especially for vultures. As a result, numbers of vultures, particularly Griffons, have increased rather than declined and birders are provided with wonderful viewing opportunities. In addition to substantial numbers of Griffon Vultures, it is possible to see Lammergeiers and, in summer, Egyptian Vultures at these sites….The biggest and most spectacular feeding site is at Alquezar.”

San Glorio ski resort project rejected by law courts

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

But great news for the Cantabrian mountains and their wildlife;

Photo of the San Glorio pass and beyond, taken early March 2007

The Castilla and León law courts have vetoed the project put forward by Tres Provincias S.A. for a ski resort in the San Glorio region of the Cantabrian mountains in the north of Spain, citing climate change as the main reason for its very doubtful economic viability. This makes it the first plan to have been denied on the grounds of climate change. The judgement points out that when, in 2006, the regional government of Castilla and León modified the laws protecting the Natural Park of Fuentes Carrionas and Fuente Cobre-Montaña Palentina (land included in much of the project) to enable the building of a ski resort, no scientific study was included to take into account the effects of climate change.

The threats to the environment and the future of the Cantabrian brown bear made by the project have led to huge opposition from conservationists, who have provided many environmental impact reports. The court also recognises that this project would be incompatible with the survival of many species of flora and fauna of the area, including the bears whose Eastern population would be severely affected.

News from El País

Read all about the subject on Iberianature forum