Archive for September, 2008

246 loggerhead turtles hatch in Cabo de Gata

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Newly hatched turtle being measured (CSIC)

246 eggs of loggerhead turtles (tortuga boba – Caretta caretta) have hatched in the last few days on a beach in Cabo de Gata, Almeria. The eggs were taken from Cabo Verde, where a third of the world’s population of Caretta caretta lives, and form part of a reintroduction programme of the Junta de Andalucía, CSIC and the Canarian goverment (Loggerhead turtles in Fuerteventura). They have been taken to a reintoriduction sent which will raise them for the first few months to reduce mortality rates. El Mundo

It will take at least 15 years to be able to begin to measure the success of the project when hopefully some of those turtles hatched will return to the same beach as adults. Small populations of loggerhead turtle in the Mediterranean exist in the Turkey and Greece.

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Astronaut on Salamanca Cathedral

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Salamanca Cathedral Astronaut

Nothing to do with nature but I loved this astronaut relief on the façade of Salamanca’s 12th century cathedral. Photo: Maria Read how it got there on the forum

Pelamis wave machine in Portugal

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

The Pelamis wave farm has just been officially launched after a delay of more than a year. Pelamis takes its name from an ancient word for sea snake, as the machines could be described as giant metal snakes floating in the water. At full production they will be able to generate enough power for 1,500 homes, with 25 more machines set to be installed in Portugal.

“In addition to this flagship wave power, the Portuguese are investing heavily in other renewable technologies. They are already spending £250m on more than 2,500 solar photovoltaic panels to build the world’s largest solar farm near the small town of Moura in eastern Portugal. It will have twice the collecting area of London’s Hyde Park and supply 45MW of electricity each year, enough to power 30,000 homes. In the past three years, the country has also trebled its hydroelectric capacity and quadrupled its wind power sources – northern Portugal has the world’s biggest wind farm with more than 130 turbines and a factory that builds the 40m-long blades. Pinho wants Portugal to rival Denmark or Japan in its commitment to developing renewables industries – he predicts his country will generate 31% of all its primary energy from clean sources by 2020, compared with Britain’s target of 15%. The Portuguese target means increasing the generation of electricity from renewable sources from 42% in 2005 to 60% in 2020.”

Illegal trapper apprehended

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

A person has been caught in the act of checking his illegally laid snares in the valley of the Ibias river in Asturias. The Fundación Oso Pardo and agents of Seprona have removed 17 traps in all in this area, near the borders of León. So far this year, 172 traps have been removed from the areas of the Alto Sil and Alto Narcea.

The young bear with the trap caught around his abdomen has not been able to be caught and treated. It’s not known whether or not he is still alive.

Members of the Fundación Oso Pardo with snares

From La Nueva España.

Plan to cull 100 wolves in Castilla y León

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

A plan to hunt and shoot up to 100 wolves in Castilla y León has angered environmentalists who say the culling is an unnecessary sop to farmers who claim livestock are under attack. The Guardian

See also

  • (above photo) Los ecologistas de Castilla y León rechazan que se cacen a 100 lobos esta temporada El Mundo
  • 32 wolves to be culled in Leon Diario de León

Aiguestortes trip report

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Lucy has posted on her iberianature blog this fantastic series of five trip reports on her recent trip to Aiguestortes in the Catalan Pyrenees. Enjoy.

The renewed silence was broken by a piercing whistle, as if a referee had just stopped play. The first time I ever heard a marmot’s warning call, I was sure it was a bird. One tone warns of raptors and another of danger on the ground. The Pyrenean marmots didn’t survive the last ice age, but were re-introduced in 1948, and have been burrowing there extensively ever since. They are Europe’s largest and perhaps shaggiest rodents, preferring to stay underground on hot days, as well as hibernating throughout winter. This upright marmot was on lookout duty. Read

Lynx road death

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

An Iberian lynx has been found dead on a road in Doñana. This is the sixth lynx to have been run over in 2008, promoting WWF to call on the Andalusian government to implement an “emergency plan” to put a stop to more needless deaths. The young female lynx was born in 2007 in Coto del Rey and was called “Drupa”. Consumer

Birds of prey of Spain quiz

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Steve West of Birding in Spain has kindly let me post this fiendish set of Spanish raptor profiles. In addition to Steve’s books and bird tours, check his site for some very interesting bird blogging.

Answers here from Steve’s website. If that isn’t enough for you, he’s also posted another set of raptor profiles here for you so far without the answers.

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Shepherd uses wild boar to control his sheep

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Appros of nothing in particular, a story here from the Olive Press about a shepherd in Granada who uses a wild boar to control his sheep. Read

Spain to plant 45 million trees

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

The Spanish government has announced a plan to plant 45 million trees of local Iberian, Balearic and Canarian species with the aim of promoting “Spain’s natural heritage”. The plan involves reforesting more than 61,000 hectares, revitalising ecosystems and creating some 3,000 jobs, particularly in rural areas. The planting will be done in public lands between 2009 and 2012 and will require an investment of 90 million euros. The programme is backed by the a new forest fire prevention plan

The director of Greenpeace España, Juan López Uralde, states that the announcement “is a first step but is insuficient to put a stop to desertification”. El Mundo

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