Tag Archives: Iberian Wolf

Spain’s Wolf Protection Measures and the European Commission’s Perspective

In the midst of discussions about the protection of wolves in Spain, the country’s acting head of agriculture, fisheries, and food, Luis Planas, has asserted that Spain already possesses mechanisms to ensure the wolf’s protection. This comes in response to the European Commission’s consideration of potentially reducing the level of protection for this species. So, what are Spain’s wolf protection measures and the European Commission’s perspective?

Spain’s Comprehensive Wolf Management Plan

During a press conference held after the informal Council of European Agriculture Ministers in Córdoba, Planas emphasized Spain’s comprehensive wolf management plan. Within this framework, the nation has established flexible mechanisms and legal instruments.

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Roe Deer and Wolves: A Shifting Ecological Balance in Guadarrama National Park

The roe deer holds a special place in the Guadarrama National Park, not only for its beauty but also because it serves as a valuable indicator of human activities within the area. It is a living testament to the history of Guadarrama itself. There have been traces of this species dating back to the Middle and Upper Pleistocene in Pinilla del Valle, showcasing its presence in this region even during crucial Pleistocene refuges in the Sierra, which played a pivotal role in the species’ recovery after glacial periods.

Roe deer historically in the Sierra de Guadarrama

During the 17th century, roe deer populations across Europe suffered a significant decline due to deforestation, livestock farming, and intensive hunting. In the early 19th century, Graells was still hunting them throughout the Sierra de Guadarrama. (Mariano de la Paz Graells, a Spanish naturalist and biologist who lived during the 19th century. He was known for his contributions to the field of natural history and was involved in the study of various aspects of Spain’s flora and fauna during his time.)

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The Sierra de Culebra

  • Region: Castilla y Leon
  • Province: Zamora
  • Status: Regional Hunting reserve. With its definitive protection status yet to be determined. In recent years, there has been a debate over the proposal to declare this mountain range a natural park, a measure that has been opposed by the residents of the municipalities affected, as they consider it detrimental to their economic interests.
  • Area: The Sierra de la Culebra covers an approximate total area of 70,000 hectares, of which 61,305 hectares have been designated as a Site of Community Importance (LIC), and 67,340 hectares were declared a national hunting reserve in 1973, later converted into a regional hunting reserve since 1996. It is also part of the “Plan de Espacios Naturales Protegidos de Castilla y León” and is part of the Meseta Ibérica biosphere reserve.
  • Nearby towns and villages: Pedralba de la Pradería, Puebla de Sanabria, Ferreras de Abajo, Ferreras de Arriba, Ferreruela, Tábara, Manzanal de Arriba, Otero de Bodas, Villardeciervos, Figueruela de Arriba, Mahíde, Riofrío de Aliste
Introduction to the Sierra de Culebra

The Sierra de la Culebra is a Spanish mountain range located in the northwest of the province of Zamora and the autonomous community of Castilla y León. It’s main value lies in the large population of Iberian wolf with the highest concentration in Spain. Populations of red deer, roe deer and wild boar are also very significant.

The name of this mountain range is thought to have been inspired by its undulating contours, which bear a resemblance to a snake, hence its name “Sierra de Culebra” (Snake Mountain Range). However, another theory suggests that the name could have stemmed from the historical presence of snake species, including the smooth snake, the horn-nosed viper, and the whip snake.

The area continues across the border and is included in the Portuguese Natural Park of Montesinhos. Its small elevations range from 800 to 1,200 meters in height. Reforestation pine is dominant in the mountains, although native forest masses of oak, Spanish oak, and chestnut are also present. In the scrublands, heather and rockrose are the dominant plants.

The area has also become famous as a starlight destination. The Starlight Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2009 to promote the protection of the night sky and the development of “astrotourism” and there is an ever growing list of starlight destinations in Spain to visit.

The Sierra de Culebra: A land of wolves.

This mountain range is internationally renowned for being home to one of the most precious faunal treasures and a symbol of conservation efforts—the Iberian wolf. Its vast expanse allows for days of exploration through wide, untouched natural spaces, far from human presence. It stands as one of the premier destinations in Spain for wolf observation.

The best place to see wolves in Spain is in the rolling hills of the Sierra de la Culebra.
The best place to see wolves in Spain is in the rolling hills of the Sierra de la Culebra.
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Wildmoral wildlife tours

Wildmoral wildlife tours specialize in a range of locations in Spain and their nature tourism offerings encompass:

  • Wildlife watching tours
  • Photography tours
  • Interpretive walking
  • Wildlife watching trails
  • Tracking days
  • Photography courses
  • Nature orientated family activities.
Lynx watching from a hide in Andújar (Andalucia)

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of the Mediterranean forest and capture stunning photographs of the magnificent Iberian lynx from a specialized hide.

Wildmoral lynx tours

Located in the serene countryside of Andújar, Jaén, this hide offers a prime vantage point in a clearing, where lynxes frequently cross while on the move or hunting. With its spacious window and comfortable setup for up to 5 photographers, you can observe the lynxes natural behavior while remaining hidden, ensuring an unforgettable photography experience.

Bear watching in the Somiedo Natural Park (Asturias)

This tour takes place in the Somiedo Natural Park, where you’ll have the opportunity to observe the majestic Cantabrian brown bear and other wildlife.

Wildmoral bear tours

Based in Pola de Somieda, Asturias, a prime location for bear sightings, Wildmoral provide up to four observation points equipped with telescopes. While sightings depend on day to day conditions, there are options to explore stunning trails, keeping an eye out for chamois, red deer, roe deer, wildcats, wild boar, and possibly even Iberian wolves.

You can choose an all-inclusive option or, if you are in the area you can join in with scheduled activities.

Wolf watching in the Sierra de Culebra (Castilla y Leon)

The Sierra de la Culebra mountain area in Zamora is known for its dense population of Iberian wolves and long-standing family groups. there are four observation sessions at key spots equipped with telescopes, offering a chance to witness these magnificent creatures.

Wildmoral wolf tours

While encounters depend on nature and its conditions, there are also outings for tracking trails, learning how to identify Iberian wolf tracks and exploring the local wildlife. Also included is a visit the Iberian Wolf Centre in Puebla de Sanabria for a guided tour, where you’ll gain valuable insights into the animals’ behavior, their relationship with humans, and the opportunity to observe them in semi-freedom.

You can choose an all-inclusive option or, if you are in the area you can join in with scheduled activities.

Photography hides across Spain

For those seeking a closer connection with nature, Wildmoral also provide a selection of photography hides. These hides offer a unique opportunity to capture unforgettable moments and take photographs of the wildlife.

See our dedicated page for Wildlife hides in Spain here: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/finding-wildlife-photography-hides-in-spain/

Contact details for Wildmoral wildlife tours

Ronda Today

Everything you need to know before you visit Ronda “The city of dreams” in Andalucia. https://www.rondatoday.com/

The Caminito del Rey

Find tickets for the Caminito del Rey: https://www.caminodelrey.es/

Wildside Holidays – Spain

Take a trip on the Wildside! Discover the wildlife and nature of Spain, its Natural and National Parks and find the top wildlife, activity and walking holiday companies.

Iberia Nature Forum

Struggling with identifying those bugs and beasties? Why not check out the Iberia nature Forum!

Discover the Iberia Nature Forum – Environment, geography, nature, landscape, climate, culture, history, rural tourism and travel.