Catalonia

Articles in ‘Catalonia’

Bear breeding success in Pyrenees

August 3rd, 2010

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Bears in the Pyrenees have had their best breeding year for decades this year with two females raisning two cubs each, in territories between Vall d’Aran and y los departamentos franceses de Ariège y Alto Garona. El Periódico

Effect of forest fire on birds in the Pyrenees

July 6th, 2010
Spanish researchers have assessed the impact of the burning of a scrubland area of broom on the birds of the Catalan Pyrenees. By analyzing a period of 50 years following the fire, the scientists found that the birds that recover most slowly are those that live in the high mountain areas. For many of them, this recovery takes more than one or two decades following the fire. Science Daily

Bears spotted close to Pyrenean tourist area

July 2nd, 2010 Foto de la Noticia Three bears have been spotted by wildlife photographer Oriol Alemany close to a tourist area in the Vall d’Aran. The two sub-adults and one adult are almost certainly Hvala and her offspring Nhèu’ y ‘Noisette’. The animals are being tracked to reduce the risk of tourists disturbing them. Here

Mediterranean Storm-petrel in Catalonia

June 16th, 2010 Interesting page on the recovery programme of the Mediterranean Storm-Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus melitensis in Catalonia.
There are few known coastal breeding sites for the  in Spain and France, apart from their core breeding areas in the Balearics and central Mediterranean. After carrying out some years of a ringing program in the Costa Brava area, Catalonia, some potential breeding areas for the Mediterranean Storm-Petrel (very irregular and endangered breeding species in the area, regularly recorded in Spring and Summer offshore) were identified. From Birds in Spain Blog (lots of photos

Grey whale spotted off Barcelona

June 10th, 2010

Gray whale

To the amazement of scientists, a grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus) has been spotted off the coast of Barcelona, after being tracked from Palestine/Israel. North Atlantic-Mediterranean populations were understood to have become extinct in the 18th century, and there have no sightings since. The most likely expllanation is that the animal is a Pacific grey whale that has become lost. If it does form part of a new Atlantic population that would indeed be news. El País and BBC

Black vultures in the Pyrenees

June 9th, 2010

The Black Vulture Aegypius monachus is currently being reintroduced in the Catalan Pyrenees. Some 27 individuals were released between 2007 and 2009 in the Alinyà area. Each bird is being tracked: 15 regularly use the area, 3 are dispersing, 7 have been found dead and 3 are missing. A chick born on 25th April at one of the release sites was was the first to be born in the region since the late 19th century. Black Vultures in the Pyrenees

Note: SEO made the black vulture its Ave del Año for 2010.

Marmots expanding into Catalan Pre-Pyrenees

March 15th, 2010

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The Alpine Marmot is successfully spreading into the Catalan Pre-Pyrenees, and there may now be as many as 10,000 individuals in the region. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to the Catalan Pyrenees

March 15th, 2010

Simon Rice who writes an excellent blog here on iberianature has put together this comprehensive and original guide to the Eastern Catalan Pyrenees (and Pre-Pyrenees) which he calls “The Book”.

Scroll down for sub links in to wildlife, history, geography, food and culture.

The region of the Pallars Jussà and Sobirà, that is to say, the valley of the river Noguera Pallaresa, contains an extraordinary variety of environments within a relatively small area, with an abundance of associated wildlife. The fact that the region has until recently been isolated from the built-up areas around Barcelona and Catalonia’s coastal strip means that these environments remained in pristine condition while more accessible areas suffered the depredations of modern times, such as the use of pesticides, forest clearance, etc. Notwithstanding the fact that Catalonia’s star turn, the wonderful Parc Nacional d’Aigüestortes I Estany de Sant Maurici, was founded during this period, in 1955, the region now hosts dozens of large protected areas.

Visit Simon’s guide to the Catalan Pyrenees

First female wolf in 80 years detected in Catalonia

March 8th, 2010

The first female wolf in 80 years has been detected in Catalonia in the Sierra de Cadí. The first wolf in the Cadi was detected in 2004. More from Crónica Verde.

Tests have shown that this new influx of wolves in Catalonia is genetically Italian in origin, forming part of an expansion over a number generations out from the Apennines. The Apennine population began to expand in several directions from the early 1990’s. It moved north into the Italian and Swiss Alps; north-east into the French Alps and Lyon, and east towards the Pyrenees, reaching the Maritime Alps near Nice by 1996, Saboya by 1998. An individual was detected between Areja and French Cerdenya by August 1998 in the Madres Massif, just to the north of Canigó, and finally by 2004 into the Cadí range. The last Catalan wolf was shot in Horta de Sant Joan, in Tarragona in 1929, though the animal is thought to have disappeared from the Sierra de Cadí more than 100 years ago. More on wolves in Spain

There is a curious historical coincidence with Catalan wolves and Pablo Picasso. Horta de Sant Joan (where the last wolf was shot) was were Picasso is often considered to have developed cubism for the first time and he famously declared, “All I know is thanks to Horta de Sant Joan“. The great artist also spent some time in Gósol, the centre of the Cadí (where the new wolves have arrived), from the spring of 1906 to mid-August of that same year, where his works have been called his Gósol period. There are small Picasso museums in both villages which quite reasonably take advantage of his illustrious stays to promote themselves.

Almonds in flower in Mallorca

March 2nd, 2010

Almendros en flor by Santiago Rusiñol. From this blog about Catalan landscape painters. Probably painted in Mallorca around 1900.