Category Archives: Spain Wildlife News and Updates

Last years (2020) Lynx cubs fitted with tracking collars

The monitoring and veterinary team for the protection of the Iberian lynx recently fitted GPS tracking collars to several of the cubs born in 2020 at the El Acebuche Iberian lynx breeding center close to El Rocio in Huelva province.

They have also had full medical exams and once the results of the analytics are obtained the cubs will be approved for release later this year in Portugal, Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha.

Quite a few people are commenting about the size of the collars being fitted with some going as far to say thay they are cruel and stop the lynx from hunting. Others say they should have reflective strips on them to help them being seen at night on roads.

I presume the tracking collars are this large and bulky size to help with identification of individuals at a greater distance.

Iberian Lynx vet checkup
Iberian Lynx cub vet checkup before being released into the wild later this year (2021)

Read more about the Iberian lynx in English here…
Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) Lince Ibérico

the official Spanish site is here.

Happy migration time for Buoux the Egyptian vulture

The Egyptian Vulture Buoux hatched in 2018 and has spent a lot of its life in captivity after being rescued and released twice.

Finally he’s crossed the sea and reached Africa after spending the summer in Spain and Portugal.

Map of the Egyptian vultures migration route
Map of the Egyptian vultures migration route through Spain

Interestingly, Buoux is present in areas that the Egyptian Vultures from the Douro (Portugal and Spain) tagged within the LIFE Rupis project are hanging out. The VCF (vulture Conservation Foundation) track the movements of Egyptian Vultures tagged in the Douro Canyon that borders Portugal and Spain, and it seems that Buoux uses similar areas, particularly the Boucle du Baoulé National Park in Mali.

Read the full story here.

More maps and Egyptian vulture movements and news on the website of VCF

Sierra de las Nieves National Park (Almost)

Just a few more meetings and the the future National Park of the Sierra de las Nieves will be the sixteenth in Spain (the third in Anadalusia). This will allow the areas inclusion in the Spanish Network of National Parks.

The Sierra de las Nieves is home to 65 percent of the Spanish fir (Abies pinsapo) forest and is a haven of diversity of habitats and varied fauna. The park also includes an important representation of holm oaks, cork oaks, gall oaks, black pine forests, junipers and riverside forests.

The towns and villages in the affected in the area proposed as the Sierra de las Nieves National Park are Benahavis, El Burgo, Istán, Monda, Parauta, Ronda, Tolox and Yunquera. (Alozaina, Casarabonela, Guaro, Igualeja, Ojén and Serrato outside of the park limits but benefitting from the parks infrastructure etc. (Rural tourism)

The area includes many large rock formations dating back hundreds of millions of years and which have outlined a scene of different types of plutonic, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks; peridotites, gneisses, limestones, dolomites, marbles, serpentinites and alluvial quaternary deposits that act as fillings for the valley bottoms. (Peridotites, very unique worldwide, are one of the rarest rocks in the earth’s crust, because their outcrops show a portion of the lithospheric mantle, which is generally not visible.

The area is already protected under narural park status, biosphere reserve and red 2000

Read more about the Sierra de las Nieves.

The below map shows the proposed Sierra de las Nieves National Park limits and the economic benefits for the surrounding towns and villages.

Sierra de las Nieves National Park
Sierra de las Nieves National Park limits showing also peripheral protection area (Green) and the area affected econimically (Rural tourism)

The Grazalema Guide

The best way to see all our web projects in one place is over at the Grazalema Guide.

The Grazalema Guide – Tourist Information Portal for the Sierra de Grazalema, Wildside Holidays, the town of Ronda and the Caminito del Rey.

Field work for the first national genetic census of the Cantabrian brown bear.

The autonomous communities of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla y León, in coordination with the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO), have completed the field work of the first genetic census of the Cantabrian brown bear, which will now continue with the genetic individualization work by the University of Barcelona.

Field work carried out in the forest regions in the provinces of Zamora, León, Palencia and Burgos.has involved more than 150 people for four months, including forestry workers, biologists, environmental agents and with the collaboration of the Brown Bear Foundation.

Read the full press release (In Spanish) here.

Field work brown bear census 28 jan 2021 map
Field work brown bear census 28 jan 2021 map

The above map shows that of the 292 areas surveyed, 136 areas show indications of the presence of brown bear. (69 in the western subpopulation and 67 in the eastern subpopulation).

All the samples collected in Castilla y León have been sent to the University of Barcelona for genetic individualization in order to better estimate the population through genomic techniques The Junta de Castilla y León considers it especially relevant to know the kinship and connectivity relationships, as well as the level of inbreeding of the different specimens of the Cantabrian population, especially considering the recent exchange of specimens between the eastern and western subpopulations of the Cantabrian Mountains.

As well as in the determination of individual inbreeding (degree of relationship between parents) and kinship relationships between specimens, which will help to know the degree of connectivity between the different subpopulations.

Read more about the brown bear in Spain here

Blogs and news from walking and activity companies across Spain

If you are looking at this website on a laptop or desktop then in the left hand column you will see the links to some of the finest walking, wildlife and activity companies in Spain. (If you are on a mobile or tablet then just scroll down untill you come to the list of businesses.)

Pretty much all of them have a blog and also a newsletter system to keep you up to date with whats going on in their area.

Of course a website, blog or facebook page that is updated on a regular basis is a very positive sign of a professional and trustworthy company. Online presence is very important nowadays.

Follow the links and find the right company for you for your next wildlife, walking and activity holiday in Spain.

Here are a few examples. 🙂

Hike Pyrenees

Hike Pyrenees blog
Hike Pyrenees blog

The shortest hiking season ever! say Hike Pyrenees but they still managed to get a few hikes with some guests.

I really like this blog, it’s packed with usefull information and some brilliant photos.

See the information page for Hike Pyrenees here.

How about Spring Cycling in Catalonia with Creative Catalonia?

The skies are blue, the wildflowers are all shades of reds, yellows and purples, and all of these colours are offset by the amazing green of the pine trees. Who wouldn’t want to hop on a bike and go for a pedal?

Find out more about Spring Cycling holidays in Spain here.

Granada Wildlife is getting back to business!

Mick Richardson is now back in Spain after the Covid-19 lockdown and is starting to take reservations for wildlife holidays and day trips.

So once you are happy to travel again and if you would like to visit this stunning part of a fantastic country then just get in touch.

Find our more about Granada Wildlife here.

The Grazalema Guide

The best way to see all our web projects in one place is over at the Grazalema Guide.

The Grazalema Guide – Tourist Information Portal for the Sierra de Grazalema, Wildside Holidays, The town of Ronda and the Caminito del Rey.

Painting one turbine blade black reduces bird fatalities by 72%, says study

Sometimes the simplest solution is the most efficient!

Fascinating to hear that scientists in Norway have found that painting one of the three blades on a wind turbine black reduces avian deaths by 72%.

In the paper, the scientists explain why birds are susceptible to flying into rotating turbine blades and why a single black blade helps them to perceive the rotor as an obstacle.

“Relative to humans, birds have a narrow binocular [eg, using both eyes to focus on one object] frontal field of view and likely use their monocular [using each eye independently] and high‐resolution lateral fields of view [ie, having eyes on opposite sides of their heads] for detecting predators, conspecifics [ie, birds of the same species], and prey,” the authors write.

“Within an assumed open airspace, birds may therefore not always perceive obstructions ahead, thereby enhancing the risk of collision. To reduce collision susceptibility, provision of ‘passive’ visual cues may enhance the visibility of the rotor blades, enabling birds to take evasive action in due time.”

It is thought that birds see the rotating white blades as a “motion smear” — the blur effect humans see when waving a hand quickly in front of their eyes — and do not perceive this blur as a moving object.

Painting one blade black is believed to create motion smear patterns that the bird perceives as a moving object, “as the frontal vision in birds may be more tuned for the direction of movement”.

Read the full article at Recharge….

Wildside Holidays – Spain

The top wildlife, activity and walking holiday companies in Spain. Small family companies living and working in Spain. Local guides are the best!