Category Archives: Spain Wildlife News and Updates

Conservation Success: Iberian Lynx Numbers Reach Historic High in 2024 census

Some pretty amazing news from Spain and Portugal! A Conservation Success: Iberian Lynx Numbers Reach Historic High in 2024 census.

The total census of Iberian lynx now stands at 2,021 individuals. This includes 1,299 adults or subadults and 722 cubs born last year. After surpassing 1,000 specimens in 2020, the Iberian population has doubled in just three years.

Read about the Iberian Lynx here.

2023 census findings

The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) census in Spain and Portugal for 2023 showed significant growth. The species has exceeded 2,000 specimens, a new record since detailed population monitoring began.

This is highlighted in the report by the Iberian lynx working group, coordinated by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO). The group includes representatives from Spanish autonomous communities and the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF) of Portugal.

Distribution of lynxes

The report indicates a total of 2,021 lynxes, with 1,730 in Spain (85.6%) and 291 in Portugal. Four Spanish autonomous communities host stable populations. Andalucía has 755 specimens, 43.6% of the Spanish population. Castilla-La Mancha has 715 lynxes (41.3%). Extremadura has 253 specimens, and the Region of Murcia has seven.

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Illas Atlánticas to Eradicate Acacias, Enhancing Forest Management to Mitigate Fire Risks

The Atlantic Islands National Park of Galicia, known as Illas Atlánticas, is taking decisive action to address the threat posed by Acacia melanoxylon, an invasive species known to exacerbate forest fires. This initiative is part of a broader state forest management program aimed at safeguarding Spain’s most environmentally valuable areas. By eradicating acacias and implementing improved forest management practices, the National Park seeks to reduce the risk of fires and preserve its unique ecosystems.

Read about the Islas Atlánticas national park here: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/islas-atlanticas-national-park/

The Threat of Acacia Proliferation

The proliferation of Acacia melanoxylon poses a significant concern for Illas Atlánticas due to its rapid spread, which can lead to environmental catastrophes on islands like Cíes, Ons, and Cortegada. Not only does the invasion of acacias threaten native flora and fauna, but it also alters the structure of forest masses, jeopardizing the biodiversity of these pristine islands.

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Black Vultures in Spain. Rewilding Spain, Terra Naturalis and GREFA’s Conservation Odyssey

In the heart of the Iberian Highlands, the resurgence of black vultures in Spain unfolds through dedicated conservation efforts. In Alto Tajo Nature Park and the Sierra de la Demanda, new nests signify a strategic push to reintroduce these majestic raptors. With support from the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha, Rewilding Spain, Terra Naturalis, and GREFA, the black vulture’s return becomes a compelling narrative of successful collaboration.

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Lost Heritage: Cochineal and the Endangered Prickly Pear in Spain

In recent years, the uncontrolled spread of the Cochineal, Dactylopius coccus (Cochinilla del Carmin) has led to the near disappearance of the prickly pear (higo chumbo) in Spain.

Historical Significance

The introduced prickly pear (Opuntia maxima), originating from Central America, has played a vital role for centuries. It served various purposes, including being a source of food (prickly pears, higo chumbos), livestock feed, agricultural support, slope stabilization, and hedges.

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