Archive for March, 2014

Latest news on the 2011 Lorca earthquake.

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

lorcaTalking to a friend of mine yesterday from the Lorca area reminded me of the study made in 2012 that blamed humans for the 2011 earthquake…Scientists studying the fault beneath the Spanish city of Lorca said that groundwater removal was implicated in the deadly 2011 earthquake. Nine people were killed in this earthquake and a lot of structural damage created. My friend living close to the epicenter lost a family member and his textile mill was badly damaged. For me one of the most amazing facts is that the water table in the area had dropped by 250 metres in just 50 years… Although the study does go on to say that the earthquake would have happened anyway even without the water extraction.

However, the area lies on a seismically active region, and the data suggest only that the water drainage sped up and eventually triggered a process that would have eventually happened anyway.

The full article is over at the BBC

The use of poison in Spain…. What is it killing?

Friday, March 21st, 2014

aparecen-envenenadas-1With the latest news coming from Zamora that includes a Spanish Imperial eagle, amongst other carrion birds, killed from the consequences of poisoning, I thought I’d have a search around the net for similar news and information.

The Vulture Conservation Council has an interesting page explaining the use of poisons that has affected Spanish Vultures.

A large number of vulture deaths in Europe can be attributed every year to poisoning, arguably the most important threat impacting on vultures today. Figures from Spain are illustrative – data from the Spanish ministry of agriculture show that between the years 2000 and 2010 a total of 40 bearded vultures, 638 black vultures, 348 Egyptian vultures and 2,146 griffon vultures were found poisoned. (The recent extinction of the bearded vulture in the Balkan Peninsula was largely due to extensive poisoning campaigns against wolves and jackals.) (more…)

New blogger at Iberianature?

Monday, March 17th, 2014

cliveI thought I would introduce myself 🙂 I guess I am a writer, photographer, Webmaster, Administrator and Holiday Coordinator. I have lived in Spain for over 12 years and during the last 8 in the beautiful village of Grazalema in Western Andalucia. My passion is wildlife and it’s connection to people. I am a founding member of The Iberianature Forum, the best (and only) English language resource for anyone who is interested in the nature, culture and history of Spain.

I spent the years January 2009 to January 2014 running the tourist information office in the village of Grazalema and dealing with over 2000 visitors to my office every month certainly took its toll. So, after I decided to close my office and “retire” hahaha, I was very happy that Nick asked me to write a few posts here on Iberianature.

I have recently created the Iberianature Business Directory of nature and wildlife companies in Spain.

I am the webmaster, sales manager and coordinator for Wildside Holidays and the greater part of my work goes on behind the scenes, making sure hotels are working well for our customers and organising the daily routine of breakfasts, lunches and evening meals.

The major projects I am involved with are: – The Business Directory – Blogging about the various aspects of Spanish wildlife, geography and history. – My nature walking holiday company – The best English language forum about the nature of Spain – My Grazalema tourist office website (spanish language mostly)

I guess I am not “retired” yet! I hope you enjoy my posts and links…


Is the economic “crisis” in Spain helping the Iberian wolf?

Monday, March 17th, 2014

lobo_iberico1An interesting article in the Guardian about the Iberian Wolf states that Spain is now a wolf stronghold and there are thought to be more than 250 breeding groups totaling more than 2,000 individuals. But, is the Spanish economic “crisis” really the reason for population increase or is it because of better education, local awareness and more land under the protective arm of natural and national parks?

See also the Iberianature Forum Topic – Wolves in Spain

Wolves traditionally flourish in times of political and economic crisis. Their return to Europe in the past 20 years is thought to be linked to widespread rural depopulation and the collapse of the Soviet Union. The demise of the USSR saw a near 50% increase in the number of wolves in the 1990s, as animals that had been kept under control by state-sponsored culling were left to roam unchecked and many packs crossed into sparsely populated areas of Poland, Germany and Scandinavia. (more…)

Diclofenac the Vulture killing drug is now available on EU market

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

griffonUnbelievably, this news comes as a surprise to many vets, biologists and very experienced people working in the world of Spanish wildlife. Diclofenac is a powerful anti-inflammatory drug that has wiped out vulture populations in India, Pakistan and Nepal. Now, a repeat of this ecological disaster is threatening Europe. Despite the fact that safe alternative drugs are readily available, Diclofenac has been authorised for use on domestic animals in Italy, and in Spain where 80% of European vultures live, and is now becoming widely available on the EU market. According to experts in SEO/BirdLife (BirdLife in Spain), RSPB (BirdLife UK) and the Vulture Conservation Foundation, this may cause a European mass die off of endangered and ecologically valuable wildlife….


The Rain in Grazalema

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

weather-set-1One of my favorite writers in Spain, Sue Eatock who lives in Grazalema – Andalucía, has been studying the wildlife in her area for more than 10 years now. In one of her latest articles she explains why Grazalema gets the highest rainfall in Spain.

“Grazalema has the highest rainfall records in Spain’. This is a phrase that is commonly found on the internet, but without further explanation could be very off putting to the holiday maker! Mountains will always alter their local climate where-ever they are in the world, and this is no exception. Note that only a few hours drive away at the eastern end of Andalucia is Europe’s only desert!

The most green and humid areas of the Spanish Peninsular are the northern coastal zones which face the Atlantic ocean and from the Pyrenees mountain chain to the Catalan coast of the Mediterranean. These areas have rainy weather with a precipitation average of over 800 mm per annum and yet statistically the village of Grazalema in Andalusia is famous because of the fact that it receives the most rainfall in the  iberian Peninsular. Some years recording more than 2000mm. (more…)