Archive for September, 2009

Latest lynx brief

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Here’s the latest lynx brief by Dan Ward. This edition includes news about the Iberian Lynx captive breeding programme, the use of poison in Spain, and proposals for lynx reintroductions “, it is hoped that proposed lynx reintroductions of between 20-40 individuals per year can begin in 2010. Essential reading. Here

See also Dan’s lynx blog

Warm autumn predicted

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

The Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET) is predicting a warm autumn for 2009 with temperatures 1 to 1.5ºC above average, especially for the Mediterranean area. Precipitation figures are expected to be normal. In a similar vein, temperatures in August in Spain were “extremely hot”, being the third highest since 1970 (2003 and 2005 were hotter). The hottest temperature was recorded in Alcantarilla (Murcia) on 23 August with a scorching 45ºC. El Mundo

Iberian lynx could expand into abandoned agricultural land

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Scientists have developed a model to identify the agricultural areas with the greatest potential for restoring the habitat of the Iberian lynx. A study by The Instituto de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera looked at the impact and risk of mountain olive groves being abandoned, in order to come up with an appropriate management system for them (conventional, mixed or organic), or to suggest they should be reconverted to Mediterranean forest. El Mundo and here.

New wolf documentary

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Very interesting 24-minute documentary about wolves in Spain here.  La huella del lobo looks at the conflicts around wolves in Castilla y León where wolves are being increasingly hunted legally (113 this year will be shot at up to 9,000 euros each). The film does not take sides and gives a voice to hunters, conservationists and politicians. See also the iberianatureforum’s discusssion on this.

A good year to kill wolves in Castilla y León

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

La Crónica Verde has this depressing summary (Buen año para matar lobos en Castilla y León) of the  quota of wolves which can be hunted this year in Castilla y León. 142 wolves can be hunted this year, 29 more than last year. These are only the wolves killed legally. Many more will be shot illegally.

Reptiles and amphibians on the forum

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

The iberianatureforum has become the place to identify and learn about the reptiles and amphibians of Spain. Recently we’ve had discussions on sharped ribbed newts, viperine snakes, smooth snakes, horseshoe whipsnakes, tree frogs and juvenile ocellated lizards. More here

There’s also a rather nice seletion of images of reptiles and amphibians uploaded by our members.

Spanish ribbed newt

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

New research on the Spanish ribbed newt (Pleurodeles waltl) has shown exactly how this remarkable animal uses its ribs as a defence. When attacked, the newt pushes out its ribs until they literally pierce through its body, exposing a row of sharp bones. Meanwhile, a poisonous milky substance is secreted onto the body surface, turning the bones into lethal barbs. And despite all this, the newt appears to suffer no harm. BBC

See also the original abstract in the Journal of Zoology with the remarkable title Hurt yourself to hurt your enemy