Archive for the ‘hunting in Spain’ Category

Illegal hunting ring broken

Monday, December 1st, 2008

An important illegal hunting ring has been broken in the Cantabrian mountains of Asturias and León where two and six men respectively have been arrested. Various arms were found in their houses along with frozen and dried animal remains. Included among the boar, deer and rebeco (chamois) discoveries were specimens of endangered animals, a European Genet and a Capercaillie, the latter a species threatened with extinction in these mountains. The men were arrested following months of detective work by Seprona, the wildlife protection unit of the Guardia Civíl, and are suspected of charging money for guiding hunts as also found were large amounts of cash and paperwork stamped and ready for the transportation of the “trophies”. Other possible species to be found in the area concerned are Cantabrian brown bear and Iberian wolf. The case is continuing and more arrests are likely.

News from 



Catalan government to monitor bears more closely

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Following the hysteria surrounding a hunter who was bitten by a bear last week (full story here on iberianature), the Catalan government has decided to study bears in the Pyrenees more closely and are to set up a new group to monitor the bears in the Aran valley to avoid any similar incidences in the future. Fapas have commented and point out that while this is the first incident of its kind in the Pyrenees, hunters are far more likely to suffer injuries (and death) at the hands of other hunters (20 hunters are killed by other hunters a year in Spain.) The bear in question Hvala is currently in France and so is safe for the time being from the attempts by the Aranese authorities to capture her. Ecological organisations are threatening legal action should they be successful. El Mundo

The images above (El Mundo) are the first of Hvala since the incident took place.

Illegal wolf hunting

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

Illegal wolf hunting in Castilla-León is responsible for some 300 wolf deaths a year, making it practically impossible for the animal to expand. (Público)

EU to accept wolf hunting

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

The EU is to accept the new wolf management plan of Castilla-Leon when it is approved in January 2007 which will allow wolves to hunted south of the River Duero to protect livestock, breaking a 20-year protection of the species in this area.

Two wolves killed illegally in Valladolid in 2006. (El Pais) The police seem to have enjoyed their display.

 According to wolf expert Juan Carlos Blanco, wolves expanded significantly in the 1990s but this expansion, reaching the border of the region of Madrid, has halted. In the last decade the density of wolves in the area of distribution has probably increased. “This is a typical behaviour: first a big territorial expansion and then a brake to this”.

Some 200 wolves are hunted legally every year in Spain, and many more illegally, not just in Castilla-Leon but also in Asturias where 25 wolves were killed between January 2006 and March 2007, by officials after reports of sheep deaths. In contrast, in the Sierra de la Culebra, rich hunters pay up to 18,000 euros to kill a wolf.

Ecologistas en Acción is against the removal of protection. “…there is no justification.  Five years ago the Spanish parliament voted to include the wolf in the National Catalogue of threatened species and not only has this not been done, but they now want to extend its hunting. Legal hunting does not replace poaching and the use of poison, it complements it”.

Wolf attacks on livestock have increased but this may not be only be due to its breeding success. The absence of carrion after the EU mad-cow ban on leaving dead livestock in the countryside has had a huge affect on wildlife on Spain and has in all surety driven wolves to attack sheep more frequently. The Junta de Castilla y Leon claim the region’s 1500 wolves kill 2,200 sheep and 220 cows a year. They claim the plan guarantees the conservation of the wolf and reduces its negative effects. The actual contents of the plan are still unclear, but sources talk of some 50 wolves a year.

El Pais

More protection demanded for rabbit

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

WWF/Adena have demanded more protection for that most Spanish of animals the rabbit, due to its key role as a prey species for more than 40 mammals and birds, some of them like the lynx and the imperial eagle, seriously endangered. Myxomatosis and VIH have decimated rabbit populations across much  of Spain and in some areas rabbits are a now a rare animal. It is estimated that rabbit numbers are barely 20% that of the pre-epidemic early 1950s, when the animal formed an essential part of the diet of many Spaniards, and when rabbit were alkmost certainly hunted far more. WWF/Adena are not asking for a ban on its hunting but rather for the hunting season to be moved as at present they are hunted in autumn and winter just before the start of their breeding season. They suggest that the hunting season be brought forward several months in line with the maximum yearly population level. It is beyond me why hunters would oppose such a measure, if indeed they do.

See also Origin of words Spain, rabbit and coney + Iberian lynx (with section on the rabbit)

Gun ownership in Spain

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

According to the Geneva Graduate Institute of International Studies, gun ownership in Spain is 11% of the Spanish population. With 4,500,000 small arms, Spain is 19th in the world in gun numbers in real terms. The vast majority of these arms are held as hunting weapons with over one million hunting permits issued.

Hunting the frozen wolf

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

There’s a remarkeble series of photos at Fnac in Barcelona (Plaza Catalunya) by Spanish photographer Ricardo Casas on the sub-culture of hunting in Spain. The exhibition is entitled “Hunting the frozen wolf”. Brutal, repulsive, surreal and poetic. Read critique here

Exhibition is here. Ricardo Casas also has online exhibitions on Rustic Golf, Tuning and Torrevieja here