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Capercaillie

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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2008, 16:26 PM »
Greetings All,
Thanx for those - great!
As yer man said: What a caper! (Sp. anyone?)  :dancing:
Regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Tore

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« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2008, 15:10 PM »
Hola todos,
I am just back in Madrid for a few days, before heading back to Afghanistan on Tuesday. Just two more months to go, and although work is very interesting, its long days and a long way from home, and I must confess that I also have missed the forum. I will not comment on hunting, though I will note that some recent posts and comments did raise my eyebrows somewhat. I would however like to comment on the Capercaillies, though based on my experiences in Norway.
 This is a very common bird in Norway (in fact so common that we probably ought to run a re-introduction program for them based on birds from Norway (as the Norwegians have done very successfully with the Golden Eagle to Scotland). Apart from been a great game bird for hunting (there are various methods, though hunting with a dog, typically, a Finnish Spitz is usually the best way), it is great eating  (although the older birds acquire a strong resin taste from eating pine shoots). Either way, what is even more exciting is going out to watch the “lek” (i.e. courting rituals). This is a wonderful and exciting activity, and I have had the children along to spend a night in a tent, many a time. The courting birds typically use a fixed location year after year and are often found together with black grouse. They are almost oblivious to people (though care must be taken) and the males work themselves up in to an ecstatic frenzy, where they completely ignore humans. The behavior, describing male birds in the vicinity of humans has nothing to do with the species been rare. This is a very common occurrence in Norway and similar behavior is reported in numerous local papers in Norway every year in the spring. Not only do they become quite obtrusive and inquisitive, they can be quite aggressive at times too. All in all, a wonderful experience for those who have the opportunity.
Regards
Tore
Tore

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2008, 15:45 PM »
Greetings Tore,
Welcome back to the Forum and thanx for the Nordic take on the capercaillie's lek (loosely translated as caper(?) or playing around(?) or footloose and fancy-free (?)  :technodevil: ).

So I suppose that the fact that
Quote
This is a very common occurrence in Norway and similar behavior is reported in numerous local papers in Norway every year in the spring.
and not so common here is a simple matter of statistics, as in the more the birds, the more the cases?

Regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline lisa

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« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2008, 08:37 AM »
Moving briskly on before a certain bird ends up in a fabada  ::) (Hi Tore!), Steve asked about the relict pine forest in the Cordillera. I think you're probably thinking of the Pinar de Lillo (León province) which is one of the few remaining natural Scot's pine woods left. Current thought is that these pine forests started declining with climate change since the last ice-age and, then more recently, with human intervention, gathering firewood. Massive commercial holly collecting in the 1960's further destroyed the Capercaillie's habitat.
Here are some scientific viewpoints of this behaviour. I wonder if the northern populations are fragmented?

"Los científicos tienen un término para definir a los urogallos que, como ocurrió esta semana en Caso, se aproximan a las poblaciones y tratan de convivir con los humanos: 'mad cocks' o, en castellano, 'gallos locos'. Porque el extraño caso ocurrido en la localidad casina de Nieves es «bastante habitual dentro de la rareza», dice el biólogo José Ramón Obeso, uno de los científicos que mejor conoce esta especie en peligro de extinción.

El miércoles por la mañana, los vecinos de Nieves se sorprendieron al encontrarse con uno de los pocos urogallos que quedan en el Parque Natural de Redes paseándose tranquilamente por su aldea. Ante la docilidad del animal y su empecinamiento en quedarse en el pueblo, técnicos de Medio Ambiente optaron por capturarlo y devolverlo a una zona sin presencia humana y donde se supone que encontrará a alguno de sus congéneres.

El caso, dice Obeso, no es tan extraño. Desde el año 2000 se han dado, al menos, seis situaciones de este tipo en la Cordillera Cantábrica: uno en la provincia de Lugo, otro en León, y el resto en Asturias (en Somiedo, en el puerto de El Palo, en Lena y este último, en Caso). Unos se subían a los coches, otros entraban en gallineros... Y también se documentaron situaciones de este tipo en «los Alpes, los Pirineos franceses y en la Selva Negra, en Alemania».

¿Qué tienen en común todas estas zonas? «Se trata de un fenómeno propio de poblaciones pequeñas y fragmentadas, donde la especie está en peligro de extinción», dice el biólogo. No es que los animales tomen conciencia de su precaria situación y el pesimismo afecte a su salud mental: los expertos mantienen que los culpables de estos comportamientos son daños neurológicos. En realidad, como todo lo que afecta a esta especie, las cosas no están claras, y los científicos manejan dos hipótesis: la primera apunta a afecciones provocadas por un virus transmitido por garrapatas. Según Obeso, las pequeñas y fragmentadas poblaciones en extinción tienen «una condición fisiológica inadecuada», ya sea por la falta de alimento o por los problemas de salud producidos por la endogamia. En ese estado de debilidad, los virus transmitidos por los parásitos les afectan de un modo mucho más violento que a animales sanos.

La segunda posibilidad es que el extraño comportamiento esté provocado por algo parecido al estrés causado por la soledad, «que se trate de una alteración neurológica surgida en animales que no encuentran a otros ejemplares de su especie». Obeso pone como ejemplo el caso de una hembra que, en plena época de celo, y tras visitar varios cantaderos sin hallar varón, se precipitó a poblaciones humanas en busca de consuelo.

Permanencia en el hábitat

En lo que se refiere al urogallo de Caso, el Principado, en una nota oficial emitida ayer, señala que «durante los próximos días la Guardería de Medio Natural llevará a cabo un seguimiento» del ejemplar en la zona donde fue liberado tras su captura para «constatar su permanencia» en su hábitat natural.
"

Scientists have a phrase for this phenomena (sticking with the Spanish here), "gallos locos". Two thoughts are;
1) fragmentation of populations leading to genetic instability which in turn leads to weak immune systems, leading them open to tick-borne diseases which can affect their mental health.
2) stress caused by loneliness.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2008, 09:44 AM by lisa »
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Offline steveT

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« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2008, 10:07 AM »
Yes ....thanks Lisa..... this was the relic Scots Pine forest I was thinking of......but I guesss the few stands that have remained into the recent past can't have been important habitats.....or were they? Spanish capercaille seem to have adapted to a deciduous habitat.

steveT




Offline Technopat

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« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2008, 13:44 PM »
Greetings Lisa,
Thanx for that - interesting.
So it's down to ticks and endogamia? - sounds a bit like the history of European royal families :technodevil:
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2008, 14:08 PM »
Greetings All,
Came across the following this morning (Lisa's already posted the Sp. version elsewhere):
Quote
Un juez paraliza un parque eólico en una zona de urogallos
La Junta de Castilla y León deberá explicar por qué autorizó las obras
RAFAEL MÉNDEZ - Madrid - 07/06/2008
El parque eólico San Feliz tendrá que esperar. Las máquinas de la empresa Producciones Energéticas del Bierzo entraron la semana pasada en la vertiente leonesa de la cordillera cantábrica para abrir las pistas para instalar los molinos de viento. No les importó que la zona sea una de las pocas en las que cría el urogallo cantábrico. La alerta de los investigadores que siguen a esta especie en extinción -hay incluso una hembra marcada que se sigue día a día- llevó a la Sociedad Española de Ornitología (SEO) a pedir en los tribunales el freno urgente de las obras. Y aunque los jueces son reacios a estas medidas cautelares, el juzgado número 1 de lo Contencioso de León ordenó ayer frenar el parque. "La urgencia requerida parece de una claridad meridiana", señala el juez sobre el perjuicio al urogallo.

Judge halts windpark in capercaillie territory
The Regional Government of Castilla y León ordered to explain why they authorised the works

The San Feliz windpark will have to wait. The heavy machinery belonging to the company Producciones Energéticas del Bierzo entered the León side of the Cantabrian Mountains in order to “pave the way” for the wind turbines. They don’t care that the area is one o the few remaining in which the capercaillie still breeds. The alarm raised by the researchers specialising in this endangered species – there’s even a ringed female that they are monitoring on a daily basis – led the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO) to request the courts to halt the works as an emergency measure. And even though judges are reluctant to take such steps, León’s Court No. 1 for Court for Contentious Administrative Proceedings * ruled that the works were to be halted. In his ruling, the judge stated that “the required urgency is crystal-clear”.
* En. Anyone?

More here:
http://www.elpais.com/articulo/sociedad/juez/paraliza/parque/eolico/zona/urogallos/elpepusoc/20080607elpepisoc_8/Tes

Regs.,
Technopat

PS.
Anyone willing to bet on the outcome - when the case goes on to a higher instance  >:D
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 14:10 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline lisa

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« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2008, 16:02 PM »
Back to Mansín, after having been moved from the village to a real lek, (then lost again) he came back to Tarna on Saturday. From elcomerciodigital.com;

Ya nadie se inmuta, excepto los perros que no logran hacer buenas migas con tan peculiar inquilino. Cuando en la mañana del pasado sábado los vecinos de la localidad casina de Tarna comprobaron que por sus calles volvía a pasear el urogallo, a nadie le estrañó. Muchos creen que este ejemplar macho de urogallo cantábrico está más cómodo entre el asfalto y los seres humanos que en pleno monte.
La explicación para los vecinos de Tarna es sencilla: «Ha tenido que ser criado cerca de casas o, incluso, por alguna persona», por eso no se asusta cuando pasea por un entorno urbano. Sino nadie se explica que haya vuelto al pueblo después de que los guardas forestales le devolvieran hace quince días a su hábitat natural, en el parque de Redes, donde hay otros ejemplares machos y hembras. Pero este urogallo parece sentirse muy a gusto con los vecinos de Tarna y se pasea, contoneándose con orgullo ante lugareños y turistas por la calle principal de Tarna, junto a la capilla de San Pedro.
Los tarninos comentaban que «la plaza pasará a llamarse 'plaza del urogallo'». Ayer, estaba llena de vecinos y curiosos que no querían perderse el improvisado desfile de este precioso animal.
Traslado a Sobrescobio
El urogallo, un ejemplar de tres años, lejos de asustarse por las visitas se prestaba a posar. Eso sí, a cierta distancia ya el animal tiene bastante carácter. En cuanto se acercan a él ataca con su plumaje extendido, lo que motiva improvisadas carreras y alguna que otra risa.
A los perros del pueblo, comentan los vecinos, «los tiene asustadísimos». En cuanto se acercan, sale corriendo tras ellos y consigue que la plaza del pueblo «sea su territotio único».
Mientras, desde el Principado ya se está preparando su más que probable traslado al centro de cría del urogallo de Sobrescobio, donde en principio se pretende proteger a este ejemplar y darle una vida lo más parecida posible a la que debería estar teniendo lejos de la ciudad.


Only the village dogs are surprised.
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2008, 16:05 PM »
And back to the wind farm  ::) Wot no environmental impact study?
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2008, 07:29 AM »
Hope you don't mind Tp, wind farm paralysation posted on Iberianature blog.
And Nick's news in Spanish on Natura Ibérica.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 07:33 AM by lisa »
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2008, 10:30 AM »
Greetings Lisa and All,
Wasn't quite sure what you were getting at, Lisa, when you started off with that "Hope you don't mind..." - and got me anti-mick-taking artillery out and girded me loins. There I was, loaded with adrenaline and nowhere vent it  :banghead: till I looked back to your earlier post and saw that great
Quote
a nadie le estrañó.
Contrary to wot some of you may think, this is not a typo (the S key being so near the X key) - it's actually a common mistake in Spanish, similar to madrileños saying un tasis for "a taxi".  :technodevil:

Off to the wind farm thread, with its environmental impact studies and whatnots...
Regs.,
Technopat
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 10:58 AM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline lisa

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« Reply #31 on: July 12, 2008, 08:15 AM »
Could this have been prevented?

Mansin, the Capercaillie who had recently made his home in villages in the Redes Natural Park, Asturias was yesterday found dead in Tarna. Villagers blame a stray dog for his death. Members of the environmental department of the Asturian government and officers from Seprona, the wildlife protection unit of the Civil Guard, have collected what’s left of his body which will be taken to Madrid for forensic tests. There will probably follow an enquiry as the bird, a member of a species threatened with extinction in Spain, was supposedly being monitored to ensure something like this didn’t happen.
It's too late now to talk of him being used in the new reproduction centre.
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2008, 18:46 PM »
Greetings All,
Hadn't seen Lisa's last posting here - too bad! But it makes me wonder how it ties in with the following:

SEO-Birdlife has just announced a campaign to raise awareness of the threats to capers and as well as other interesting details, their website has a 3-minute-ish video (complete with close-ups of 4x4s and quads).

Of course, as one of iberianatureforum's leading sceptics - second only to Jesús - I can't but help trying to tie up loose ends:
i) the mystery of the appearance of the ex-parrotcapercaillie;
ii) the windpark halted in León,
iii) the sponsors participating in SEO-Birdlife's campaign include Iberdrola - the country's most important wind energy producer (and I think second ior third n the world).

Re. i) above, what's that technique they use in marketing to create demand?
Re. the three points above, what's that great expression Simon uses?

Regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline lisa

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« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2008, 20:55 PM »
Re. i) loss leader? There's a suggestion on foropicos that he was stolen as a chick and hand-reared, hence his behaviour.  :noidea:
Re. Simon's great expression, Darwin knows  :)
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