Archive for August, 2009

Pyrenean bear map

Friday, August 28th, 2009

I thought this map from Fapas showing the latest bear numbers in the Pyrenees was interesting

http://fapas.es/images/imagenes_cyc/2009/20090814_esquem_oso_pirineo.jpg

Small rodents discourage forest growth in Spain

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Research in five degraded landscapes in the National Park of Sierra Nevada (Granada) appears to show that field mice base their diet on holm oak and pine seeds, causing a deterioration of the habitats and an extension of scrubland in the forests. Science Daily

Cantabrian bear groups rejoined

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Image:mapa fop.jpg

Great news from biologists at Oviedo University; they now have positive DNA tested proof that two young bears are the progeny of a female bear from the east and a male from the west. Two hair/faeces samples taken in Redes Natural Park (Asturias) in November last year found two siblings, one male and of one unidentified sex. Another sample taken this spring in the Picos de Europa National Park has confirmed the analysis. More on this soon. Europa Press

Many thanks to Lisa on the forum for letting me know about this news, which is key to guaranteeing genetic diversity for Cantabrian bears, whose twin populations were separated more than 60 years ago.

Electrical storm

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2564.0;attach=5095;image

Stunning image of the immense power of an electrical storm in Alicante by Big Vern over on the forum, where he notes:

…we witnessed the most spectacular electrical storm I have ever seen, including those I’ve experienced in the tropics. We live in the Orba valley in the north of the Costa Blanca and this storm seemed to be out at sea; the thunder was very distant. The lightning was continuous and multiple, striking out in all directions – in fact I never saw any of the bolts go to earth. This fantastic light display continued for almost 15 minutes until the huge thunderhead cloud started to break up. Read more

2009 Iberian lynx population

Friday, August 7th, 2009

According to the latest survey there are now 150 lynxes in the Sierra Morena in Andújar and Cardeña-Montoro.With the 50 in Doñana this brings the total population up to 200 animals, a remarkable increase form the 100-120 nadir of 2002. Ideal Digital

See also Spain to cede 20 lynxes to Portugal (El Mundo)

The 2009 forest fires in Spain

Friday, August 7th, 2009

2009 is proving the worst year in forest fires in Spain in the last decade. According to a report published by the WWF in Spain (Incendiómetro 2009) 22 large fires have destroyed 10,000 ha of forest in what has been a year of normal climatological year. 70,000 have burnt in total so far at a cost of some 385m euros. WWF criticise the efficiency of extinction methods, the lack of a clear national fire policy and the serious differences between the regions in investment and environmental management. They also point the blame at the depopulation of the rural world, dying villages inhabited today by the last elderly residents.

El Mundo

PS Apologies for not updating the Spain blog as often as I should.