Archive for the ‘Pyrenees’ Category

Black vultures in the Pyrenees

Wednesday, 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.

The bear Hvala with cubs

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Latest news on the bear Hvala, the bear which kicked up such a fuss last year in the Vall d’Arán. Glad to see she’s alive and with cubs.

Voila! Hvala!” exclaims Pierre-Yves Quenette, standing in a snowy clearing in the forests outside of Pyrénées National Park. He’s reading a message on his cell phone. Hvala, a 200-pound brown bear with two cubs, has been found. National Geographic

Trekking in the Aragonese Pyrenees

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Nice post on the forum by Paula on trekking in the Aragonese Pyrenees.

The Spanish Pyrenees in Aragon is an ideal summer vacation target for those who appreciate traditional villages and scenic trekking. Above 2,000 meters, the air stays fresh and fly-free even during the hottest spells of July and August. On your walks along the well marked tracks and paths, you encounter gorgeus lagoons and waterfalls accompanied with cool views to the glaciers of the mountain ranges of Posets, Maladeta and Monte Perdido.

Marmots expanding into Catalan Pre-Pyrenees

Monday, March 15th, 2010

File:Marmotte des Pyrénées.jpg

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. (more…)

Guide to the Catalan Pyrenees

Monday, 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

Contrasting attitudes towards bears

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Interesting long article on bears in El Pais contrasting the acceptance of bears in Asturias with the general opposition in the Pyrenees. Read

The Great Mountain Corridor

Thursday, November 26th, 2009


The Great Mountain Corridor is an idea to create a vast ecological corridor connecting the Cantabrian Mountains, the Pyrenees and the Alps, and possibly eventually, the Balkans, along which wolves, bears and other animals could roam relatively unhindered.

The GMC is a 1300-kilometre swathe of land connecting the Cantabrian mountains in Spain to the Italian Alps via the Pyrenees and Massif Central in France. It might even be extended into the Carpathian mountains of eastern Europe. “It’s not unrealistic to think that in 20 years there could be a good corridor between the Iberian Peninsula and the Balkans,” says Miquel Rafa of Obra Social Caixa Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, a charitable organisation that is promoting the project. Some of the land in the proposed corridor is already protected, and Rafa’s aim is to fill in the gaps. Over the past decade, his organisation has spent 8 million euro buying 80 square kilometres of land between the Cantabrians and the Pyrenees. He estimates that only another 80 square kilometres is needed to complete that part of the corridor. There are already success stories to report. Last year, a wolf from the Cantabrian mountains was spotted in the Pyrenees, not far from one of many packs that arrived there from the French Alps around 10 years ago – the first wolves in the Pyrenees since the 1930s. These packs made a hazardous crossing of the Rhone valley, parts of which are industrialised. It will be remarkable if groups from the Cantabrians and French Alps meet and breed in the Pyrenees, says Rafa, as the populations have been separated for over 800 years. To win local support, Rafa and colleagues have also provided shepherds with Pyrenean mountain dogs, a muscular breed that will defend livestock against wolves. More here from New Scientist article nabbed here “Megaconservation: Saving wildernesses on a giant scale”

See also Territori i Paisatge here

No livestock killed by bears in Catalonia

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

The improved protection for shepherds and herders in Catalonia has meant for the third year running no livestock has been lost to bear attacks. Fapas

The Pyrenees need more bears

Friday, October 30th, 2009

A new French study has shown that at least 13 bears should be released in the Pyrenees in the near future if the species has any chance of becoming viable. La Mañana

On another story, Camille, one of only two bears in Navarra has killed four sheep in Roncal, as he fattens up for hibernation. Here

Timid French support for bears?

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

France has promised to “replace” any bears killed by hunters in the Pyrenees as part of its commitment to the animal, but does not seem likely to release any additional bears. Whether this means that the four bears killed in the last decade are to be replaced is still unclear. Fapas

With only 20 odd animals in the range, freezing the reintroduction programme in this way may very well lead to its extinction.