The bearded vulture ‘”Aquilón” who is part of the recovery project in the Picos de Europa has been re released this Tuesday, March 2 in Cantabria by the Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded Vulture (FCQ)
Almost three years old, this young male has now been returned to his natural habitat in the vicinity of the town of Espinama, in Camaleño after spending the last few months in rehabilitation.
He was found in a badly injured state after an impact with power lines and although his foot was so badly damaged that it had to be amputated, it was deemed that he still had a very high percentage of survival in the wild.
Big news this week is that we have decided to relaunch the Iberia Nature Forum.
Does a forum still have a place in this world of facebook, twitter and instagram? I think it does so please feel free to register
Sharing nature is a pleasure. It´s contagious and it´s exhilarating, it´s healthy and it´s worthwhile, no matter what your age or nationality, it´s a common language and quite possibly the easiest to learn.
With everyones help we can continue to meet in the meadows and mountains of Spain to speak this special language and enjoy the days ahead.
Please help the forum to grow by sharing with your friends and family the re launch of the Iberia Nature Forum
Of the Iberian lynx born in captivity in 2020, 27 individuals will be released into the wild in 2021.
Six have already been released with two in the Guadiana Valley Natural Park (Alentejo, Portugal) and another four in the reintroduction areas of Castilla La Mancha (two in Polán,Toledo and two in Torre Juan Abad, Ciudad Real.
These lynx will only be around year old when they are released so I guess that they will face some troubles in finding their place in the wild but it is hoped that they will survive well and continue on to find mates.
The most recent census shows that the lynx poluation in the wild of Iberia stands at 894 individuals.
All the lynx are given a full vetinary check up and are fitted with tracking collares before they are released.
Time will tell but with issues regarding the education of people in the areas where the lynx is expanding and food supply (rabbit) we still may see a struggle for these newly released specimens.
Great news for the reservoirs in Cádiz province this week as the rains finally arrived. The recorded rainfall in Grazalema over the last couple of days has almost reached 200 litres m2 which makes it ,once again, the “rainiest place in Spain”.
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.
That said Grazalema still suffers from drought and water shortages during the summer months.
The Nature Protection Service (Seprona) are investigating the disappearance of Iberian lynx in the province of Córdoba after the discovery of several geolocation transmitter collars that appear to have been forcibly removed from the individuals.
In two examples the collar of “Pajaron” who was reintroduced some time ago was found in mid January in the mountainous area of Adamuz. The second transmitter is from a seven-year-old male (“Kot“) released last December between the Guadalmellato and the Cardeña-Montoro Natural Park after a two-month stay at the Life Lince breeding enter in la Olivilla in Santa Elena (Jaén). Suspiciously the second transmitter was found in February by the Special Group of Underwater Activities (GEAS) of the Civil Guard in the Guadalquivir river close to the village of Montoro.
Searching has begun to find out if the two individuals are still alive and its important to note that it is it is practically impossible for them to lose the collars by accident or even in a territorial fight with other lynx.
As the Lynx population grows it is fairly obvious that territories will be expanded and some lynx will move into more human populated areas. This creates a conflict with livestock owners (Especially chicken) as the natural prey of the lynx still in decline (rabbit.) In fact the chicken farmers in the area of Adamuz have been complaining for a long time about this issue stating that over 800 chickens were killed or taken in a short space of time with frequent sightings of “up to 8” lynx around the village. There have even been lynx trapped and unable to escape from a coop after gaining access in order to steal a chicken.
The solutions? Well I suppose the farmers could make the chicken pens more secure. But, the habitat for the lynx is obviously not adequate as there is eveidently not enough food supply for the expanding population. Untill the issue of the rabbit population devastated by myxamotosis in the last decades is solved and the main food supply for the lynx returns to stable levels this issue between a protected species and local human inhabitants will continue.
I have always said that in any reintroduction programme for any species, the habitat (including food supply) must be created first. Whats the point in breeding and releasing animals into an area where they will almost certainly starve to death or be killed by the competition. In the case of the Iberian Lynx, whilst population numbers are still relatively low its not such an issue, but as the reintroduction programme becomes a success we will see more conflict like this.
As for the missing “Pajaron” and “Kot“? One can only assume that they were killed and the transmitters removed and thrown in the river in the hope that it would not be found.
After almost becoming extinct in Iberia in recent times, The Spanish government announced last week that there will soon be a complete ban on wolf hunting in Spain. (“In the next few days we will add the wolf to the list of protected species,” said Environment Minister Teresa Ribera).
Of great satisfaction to all the environmental action groups and good news for the Iberian wolf but this decision has enraged the leaders of the Spanish hunting federation and its many members plus a lot of farming landowners whos livestock lives with the wolf populations.
Up untill this point, it was still possible to hunt wolf north of the Duero River, where the largest populations are located. (An estimated 2500 individuals).
Time will of course tell how all this will affect the natural world of wolf territory but I foresee issues in say, the sierra de culebra in the north of Castilla y Leon where wolf trophy hunting in the regional hunting reserve has been going on for many years.