Baby Giant Bustards Reared in UK from Spanish Eggs Reply

great bustard chicks

ITV.com, Wiltshire, UK–The team of people who are reintroducing a giant bird to Wiltshire say they are going to step up their programme. A ten-year trial to bring Great Bustard (in Spanish avutarda) chicks to Salisbury Plain has ended – now they are going to increase the number of birds they rear there. Until now the chicks were brought from Russia, but now they’ve discovered the Spanish species is actually more like our native one that was killed off nearly two hundred years ago. Dr. Paul O’Donoghue of the University of Chester undertook a genetic comparison of European Great Bustard populations. He discovered that, contrary to the previously held belief, the Great Bustards in Spain form the closest living population of Great Bustards to the original UK population before its extinction.

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Spanish Nudist Town Accidentally Bans Nudity Reply

Nudist beach Spain

Euroweekly News.com–Vera, in Almeria, is well-known for and openly sells itself as ‘the best naturist beach resort in the world.’ However, the local government have banned the practice completely, by accident. The new law imposes fines of €100 to €300 for those who are naked or topless. This is despite the fact that nudity has been legal in Vera since 1979.

The deputy mayor Juan de la Cruz Belmonte, has explained that the error came about when they sourced their legislation ‘on ordinances from other municipalities.’ “I have issued orders to include an exception for the whole part of Vera beach that is nudist, including its streets and residential estates, where people go naked,” he stated.

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From Untended Farmland, Reserve Recreating Wilderness From Long Ago Reply

Vultures Spanish reserve

Suzanne Daley writes for the NY Times, LA ALAMEDILLA, Spain — The forces of nature were getting more than a little prodding recently on the grassy 1,200-acre reserve outside this village near Spain’s border with Portugal. Two gamekeepers were building a nest the size of a patio table to help endangered black storks attract mates. Others were feeding chicken carcasses to vultures. Nearby, ancient breeds of horses and cattle, transplanted to these parts, were quietly grazing.

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Mallorca Untamed–Wildlife of the Largest Balaeric Island Reply

Cinereous vulture Mallorca

Pure Nature–Though we usually think of Mallorca more as a tourist hotspot than a home for wildlife, some  species miraculously survive, mainly in the rugged Sierra de Tramontana on the west side of the island. “There are still many natural sights to see,” says the narrator of this engaging 50-minute documentary, “but how long can they last?” With this in mind the Mallorcan government, along with the European Union and the Frankfurt Zoological Society are running programs to protect and restore the island’s wildlife.

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Spain’s Last Lynx 1

Iberian lynx Spain

National Geographic (2006)–The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is on the brink of extinction. These majestic predators, the rarest wildcats in the world, are top of the food chain in a land where hungry eyes are always watching. The Iberian lynx was once a common sight across Spain, Portugal and southern France.

Now, only a handful are left in the wild, the victims of man’s thoughtless management of their environment, a place that exposes them to pesticides, speeding automobiles, itchy trigger fingers, rapacious land grabbers and water poachers. Does the Iberian lynx stand a chance of survival? This  50-minute video, the story of two female lynxes–one mountain, one wetland–makes the case.

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Baby Boom at Spanish Wildlife Park: In Pictures Reply

Spain hippo family

From The Telegraph, March 20, 2014–Spanish freelance photographer, Marina Cano, spent six months shooting mothers and babies at the Cabarceno Wildlife Park, 15 kilometers from Santander in Northern Spain’s Cantabria region. The resulting ever-so-tender slide show was published on The Telegraph’s website as part of their Picture Galleries series. The Carbarceno Park features some 100 species from five different continents with animals of different species living together in semi-free conditions, making it an ideal spot for Marina’s delightful mini photo safari. More…

Rare Retuerta Wild Horses Reintroduced in Spain Reply

Retuerta horses reintroduced

Euro Weekly News.com–Wild horses are roaming free once again in western Iberia, near the Spain-Portugal border. The endangered Retuerta horse species is being given a second chance at survival thanks to a special breeding project at the Campaniarios de Azaba biological reserve in Salamanca. One of the oldest horse breeds in Europe, the Retuerta resembles a race of ancient Iberian horse that once populated the region around the Spain-Portugal border. Only around 150 Retuerta remain in the entire world – and most of these are in the Doñana national park in southern Spain. More…

Doñana: Fifty Years Since WWF’s Landmark Conservation Achievement Reply

Iberian lynx family

From wwf.panda.org, Gland, Switzerland, December 28,2013– WWF joins the people of Spain in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the designation of Doñana’s Biological Reserve. WWF’s purchase of the land helped set the organization on the path to protect priority places and species around the world.

Located where the Guadalquivir River reaches the Atlantic Ocean, Spain’s Coto Doñana is considered one of the most valuable wetlands in Europe. The region is a sanctuary for millions of migratory birds and endangered species, including the imperial eagle and Iberian lynx. More…

Photogenic Storms Batter Spain’s Northwest Coasts Reply

Spain storms Basque

From El Pais.com, February 10, 2014–Monumental winter storms have reached “natural disaster” proportions, leaving a trail of destruction all along Spain’s northwest coast from Galicia to the Basque Country, including Asturias and Cantabria.

These slide shows from Madrid’s El Pais newspaper give an idea of the damage done. They are also a dramatic graphic tribute to the breathtaking forces of nature. More…

Wolves Migrate to Madrid, Alarm Locals Reply

Wolves in Madrid

John Vidal writes in The Guardian, January 4, 2014–A twig snaps, a crow calls, but nothing moves in the dense pine forests of Spain’s Guadarrama mountains. Vultures and eagles soar over the snowcapped peaks and wild boars roam the valleys below, as they have for centuries. But for the farmers who work this land, a threatening and worrying comeback is taking place in this timeless landscape, home to Spain’s newest national park. After an absence of 70 years, the wolf is back in the Guadarrama hills and breeding in Madrid province just 40 miles from the city. More…