Iberia: natural history and environment

The weblog of the iberianature website: www.iberianature.com
The environment, geography, nature and landscape of Spain

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Horseshoe whipsnake in La Manga, A Wild Cat in Grado, El Pantá de la Foixarda.

A Wild Cat in Grado. Read

A Horseshoe whipsnake in La Manga. Read

El Pantà de la Foixarda. Read

Latest lynx news

Cub count for 2005 + several lynx found dead during September - October
Read here

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Spain and Asian Bird Flu

The risk of wild birds bringing Asian bird flu to Spain seems for the moment unlikely but all the same here's the lowdown from the bird people at SEO. Read

+ Summary of July's and August's news: fire and drought and drought and fire, brown bear manifesto, Cumbre Vieja in La Palma causing mega-tsunami questioned, Fundación Oso to inseminate Paca and Tola in spring 2006, Osprey breeds in mainland Spain for the first time in 60 years, Capercaillie in the Cordillera Cantabrica declared endangered, Lynx excrement in Alcaraz, First European mink born in activity. Plan to breed capercaillie in captivity...Read

Natural history of Barcelona

Part 1 This has been gathering digital dust for some time. Early first draft. Much more is needed. Read

+The voices of the Iberian lynx. mewling, chattering, gurgling, growling, snorting...even roaring.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Collserola frogs, Spanish bees, Gibraltar apes and Iberian bichos

Frogs in the Pantà de Vallvidrera
Bees in Spain. A brief introduction

Barbary ape in Gibraltar
Land invertebrates in Spain New creepy crawlies and Catalan names.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Bear infanticide and lack of carrion

There seems to be a worrying trend among Cantrabrian male bears to eat cubs. Also, EU anti-mad cow law has removed carrion from the mountains, an essential part of bears' springtime diet. Read

Online atlas of Spanish birds

Well worth a visit, but here's my review of this online site.

Online atlas of Spanish birds

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Haddock, monkfish, John Dory and langoustine under threat

It seems not just the anchovy is in trouble in the Bay of Biscay. Read

Plus latest on the drought. Read

And on the lynx cubs new taste for mice. Read

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Greenhouses in Almeria

The expanion of greenhouses in Almeria as from a new atlas from the United Nations Environmental Programme.


El Valle de Cabúerniga

El Valle de Cabúerniga


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Anchovies in danger

Anchovies catches in the Bay of Biscay have plummented from 60,000 tonnes to just 200 this year. Read

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Lynx and bear cubs

Iberian lynx cub returned to its mother after killing sister. Brezo and sister in picture. Read Read

Glimmer of a shred of hope for Pyrenean bears
Pyrenean bear cub alive - The cub of Canelle, the last totally autochthonous bear of the Pyrenees shot by a French hunter in November 2004, has managed to survive the winter without its mother Read

Been off with a bad, bad back so slow updating this and had to pull out of trip to Zamora to try and see wolves...

More triva

25 million cars in Spain in 2004, freight traffic, Oviedo fog, Spanish tsunamis, wolf numbers, Largest cities in Spain in 1600, highest provincial capital, coldest, smallest capitals in Spain, etc. Read

Thursday, April 14, 2005

tsunamis in Spain, Galician mermaid, literacy in 16-17th Castille, Oviedo fog, first Spanish dinosaur

New section on iberianature of snippets, quotes and whatnot.
Notes from Iberia (working title)
tsunami occurences in Spain, a mermaid in Galicia, literacy in 16-17th Castille, fog in Oviedo, first Spanish dinosaur.

You know, that sort of thing.

Ospreys, bears and lastest lynx news

Ospreys back breeing in Spain

Other captive lynxes not pregnant

Brown bears on the rise

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Lynx cubs, hórreos and epistemology in Don Quixote

Epistemology in Don Quixote The period was characterised by a timid awakening of the scientific method coexisting with medieval forms of investigation, or a confusion of empirical fact and poetic myth.
Hórreos. An essenial element of the Asturian landscape
Lynx cubs born in captivity. The birth of three Iberian Lynx cubs in captivity may just signal the saving of the species.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Montpellier Snake

This was taken in Doñana. It's a young Montpellier snake, the largest and commonest snake in Spain. Read

Monday, March 28, 2005

Zoological errors and omissions in the DRAE

A complaint on the coverage of zoology in the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española Read

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Full article on Iberian Lynx

The Iberian Lynx, the most endangered of the world’s 36 cats, stands on the edge of extinction...


Saturday, March 12, 2005

Lost lynx population discovered in the Montes de Toledo

Or go straight to Full article on Iberian Lynx

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Ebro, Barnacles and Mongooses

Barnacles in Spain
Spanish barnacle buffs distinguish two types: the highly prized “de sol”, which grow on sunny and wave-beaten rocks and which are distinguished by their short, fat peduncle (foot); and the less prized “de sombra” or “aguarones” (shaders or grippers), which spend more time below water and have a slenderer and longer body and a higher water content. Read

The River Ebro
Ultimately the word may well derive from the Basque words ibai (river) and ibar (valley), and these from ur meaning water. Linguists have noted similarities with the names of 200 other European rivers and streams (e.g. Ibar in Serbia, Ebrach and several Eberbach in Germany, Irwell in The UK) giving a tantalising clue as to a form of Basque being once spoken throughout Europe before the arrival of Indo-European tribes and languages. Read

Guide E in progress

eagles, earthquakes, eels (not yet), earwig synonyms, the Egyptian mongoose, eucalyptus...Read

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Alien fish, Bird of the Year and Freezing February

My trip to watch track and hopefully see wolves in the Sierra de la Culebra in Zamora has been cancelled due to the weather. Temperatures down to minus seventeen in the area around the hides. These boring bits instead.

Invasive fish in Catalonia
Bonelli's Eagle Bird of the Year for 2005
A Freezing February

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

A viperine snake in Navarra

I took this last August at midday on a shaded stone wall just outside the village of Yesa in Valle de Roncal in Northern Navarra. A path wound its way up from the village to an old hermitage (la Ermita de Santa María). Like many in this part of Spain it is known as the Vía Crucis (Way of the Cross). The path is marked by 14 crosses, the 14 stations of the cross. They were a pious lot these Navarrans. Our friend the Viperine was resting opposite the second one, if I recall. Read

Monday, February 21, 2005

On the Barcelona-Madrid Ave

...The crane seems now as essential an element of the Spanish landscape as the Osborne bulls, the cotos de caza signs and the roadside bars and brothels... (with flash movie)Read

Tiger mosquitoes coming your way

According to scientists, the nascent Sant Cugat tiger mosquito colony seems to be here to stay. Read

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Climate change in Spain

An immense 800-page report has just been published on the effects of climate change in Spain . The study looks at two possible scenarios for increases in CO2 by 2100
Read (I'm slowly wading through the conclusions in the pdf report and will periodically update it)

See also
Little Ice age in Spain
Pyrenean glaciers melting fast
45 page report here in Spanish pdf

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Bears to be released into Pyrenees

It looks like the death of Canelle (see BBC article here), the last autochthonous female bear of the Pyrenees, last autumn at the hands of a French hunter has not been in vain. The public and political attention given to the shooting appears to have spurred on the authorities with the announcement of a joint plan for the recover of the brown bear in the Pyrenees by the Spanish, French and Andorran governments. For the time being the bears are to be released on the French side, beginning with five females next September. Read article

See also Record dry January

Monday, February 14, 2005

History of Malaria in Spain (updated)

Every summer thousands of us travel to exotic climes with mosquito nets, jungle-strength cream and anti-malarial drugs. But how ‘foreign' really is Malaria to Spain and Europe ? Read more

The ghost station of Guadalajara

After Zaragoza the high speed Ave train stops at Calatayud. It's a sensible choice. A potential pole of regional development in a dry land. Cranes stand in their dozens over the new blocks. Behind the town the old ... Read more

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Lynxes on heat

One of the last hopes for the incredibly endangered Iberian Lynx, the most threatened cat in the world, is captive breeding. No Iberian lynx has ever bred in captivity but this year the biologists at the El Acebuche centre in Doñana have announced that the seven lynxes at the Centre are on heat - detected by typical changes in behaviour (roaring, meowing – somehow neither word seems right for a lynx – mewling, urine markings, sniffing, banging heads together, licking). The seven have been grouped into Read more

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