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Wolves in Spain

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Offline davejsy

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« on: November 10, 2012, 16:40 PM »
Hi,

I was just wondering what the latest was on this as it'd difficult to find anything on the internet (I guess a lot is in Spanish). Does anyone have any updates to this?

http://canislupus101.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-wolf-hunt-in-picos-de-europa.html

http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2012/08/19/wolf-hunting-to-be-legalised-in-spain/

Do the farmers use any natural methods to protect livestock? I can't help thinking that the wolves attack livestock because much of their natural prey is hunted so hard by people, probably the same people that will now hunt them. It makes you wonder how livestock farmers used to cope say a hundred years ago when wolves were far more prevalent than today, surely there must be a better solution in today's modern world than to kill these wonderful animals.  >:(

Dave
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 15:04 PM by davejsy »

Offline davejsy

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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2012, 20:31 PM »

Offline davejsy

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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 15:04 PM »
Just a few stats on the wolf hunting situation for anyone that might be interested. I gathered these from various people in the know while on a recent trip.

Asturias 8 wolves killed out of a quota of 20, luckily not only are they incredibly hard to see, but also incredibly hard to shoot. Season runs from October through February, and does appear well regulated. I could be mistaken of the specific area the 20 quota refers to, but I was staying near Riano when told this, and the 20 was out of an estimated population of 150 for the area. Until I heard this I was unaware that there was a quota and that it was allowed. Alas the hunting could be the lesser of two evils, and education needs to continue for people to learn the value a living wolf brings to an area through tourism, and of course an ecological point of view.

Sierra de la Culebra 6 wolves killed. I'm not sure what or if there is a quota, but apparently at the auction for the tags ( I think that is what they refer to the right to shoot a wolf as?) only 3 were sold. I think the hunting season is the same as in Asturias.

The recent bid to overturn the ban on killing wolves south of the Duero (driven mainly from Avila I think) was thankfully over turned. Does anyone have any idea how far south the wolves have made it? I guess the hope is that eventually some will make it far enough south to join the increasingly small and genetically vulnerable pocket of wolves left in the Sierra Moreno (anyone know how many are actually left there)? I wonder what the possibility would be to trap some wolves and transport them down there?

While in the Sierra de la Culebra staying at the wonderful Veniata I met two Spanish girls, who were on route to a big conference about an hours drive away (forgot where they said it was). The conference was about wolves and the future of them in Spain. Among other speakers at the event was Marcos Rodriguez, the man who spent 12 years living with wild wolves in the Sierra Moreno. I'd be really interested to hear from anyone who attended this event?

I'd be interested in anyone's comments on the above, and indeed any up to date information on the Spanish wolf situation - in English if possible!!!

Offline davejsy

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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2013, 12:56 PM »
It seems that certain area's of Spain are undertaking the hunting of wolves in the breeding/cubbing season. There has also been news of the same in the French Alps.

Does anyone have any news? It's hard to decipher the language versions of these news stories.

Offline Waste-Dweller

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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2013, 11:47 AM »
Hi Davejsy, this is the latest information I have. (Incidentally, I would encourage people to join PACMA - demn good work that org.)
http://www.pacma.es/n/14772/pacma_desvela_las_mentiras_de_la_xunta_sobre_las_matanzas_de_lobos
Very depressing, as is most news nowadays.

Offline Waste-Dweller

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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2014, 03:30 AM »
Wolves return to Madrid 70 years after being hunted out of region
Experts confirm presence of a settled pack in Guadarrama National Park
http://elpais.com/elpais/2013/10/14/inenglish/1381776332_560293.html

Offline Clive

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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2014, 14:37 PM »
The guardian also has a good article about the latest (from january 2014)

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/04/wolf-pack-howls-from-steppe-to-madrid

If you have the patience have a look at some of the comments people left there.... One wonders sometimes how we as a race actually survive.. Sigh!

Clive
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Offline steveT

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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2014, 23:14 PM »
Hi

Try Carnivore Ecology and Conservation website - go to Candids - 27th. ( Clive or Nick put me on to this years ago site - its really good )

The article gives confusing picture - was it written by someone who does know what they are talking about. It mentions a decline form a height in the 1990s, of 2000 individuals. They says today there's 750 breeding adults. Is that the same as before or more ie about 750 breeding adults and say 1500 ish young?

I'm unsure on all this.

Steve

Offline davejsy

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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2014, 23:05 PM »
Hi Steve,

750 breeding adults would probably be about right for a population estimate of around 2000. Typically only the Alpha pair will breed in a pack, and the others will stay with the pack in some cases permanently, and in other cases normally up to the age of 3 before dispersing. Packs 14 strong have been recorded just last year, so it's easy to see how 750 breeding adults can add up to 2000+ wolves in Spain. I'm assuming that's what the article is relating to, but it could easily be read the other way I guess. Females are sexually mature at 1 year, and males at 2 years, so it's hard to think there are only 750 above these ages.

They were originally protected after reaching a low of just a few hundred in the 1970's (I think), but now hunting of them is allowed, however it is still illegal South of the Duero. It is meant to be controlled hunting with strict quotas, however recently those quota's have been creeping upward. However probably the biggest problem are those that are killed illegally, and no one knows what number die this way. Offenders are very rarely prosecuted, with many authorities happy to turn a blind eye. Last winter an entire pack of 7 were wiped out in two incidents, and to my knowledge even though the culprits are known nothing has been done to prosecute them. It seems in some area's we are slipping back in to the bad old days, when there was zero tolerance for these amazing animals. However there is also a growing tide of Spanish who are recognising the importance of these animals in a healthy eco-system, and the value of eco-tourism. Hopefully the tide is turning.

If you want to see wolves in the wild, then Spain is probably still one of the best places in Europe to do this I think.

Dave

Offline steveT

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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2014, 22:51 PM »
Hi Dave

I saw a wolf once in the late 90s. It was crossed the road 100m in front of my car one late afternoon. It was in Las Batuecas - Sierra de Francia ( no where near France)  ...... a remote area but not one often associated with wolves ....... I then saw in wonder up a mountain side until it disappeared from view.....it has been my only sighting.

Steve

 

Offline davejsy

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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2014, 21:32 PM »
Yes even though there are up to 2000 wolves in Spain, they are very difficult to see, their stealth and fear of man is what saved them from being totally wiped out. You really need a guide for the best chance of seeing them, although in Sierra de la Culebra you would have a good chance as some of the best places to see them are readily available on the internet. You still need a lot of patience, and some very good optics though!

I'll never forget my first sighting, high up on a snow capped mountain near Riano, we came over a ridge and saw two of the most amazing animals fleeing across a snow field. Far too quick for photos. That was last Easter, and we went back on honeymoon last September and had quite a few sightings. We use Wildwatchingspain who have some fantastic guides, and will always go out of their way to help you, and I couldn't recommend them enough (we are back down there next week!). I didn't manage to get any great photos, but have attached a couple.

For amazing wild Iberian Wolf photos check out Andoni Canela's website: www.lookingforthewild.com most were taken last year.

Offline davejsy

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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2014, 21:36 PM »
Can only upload one at a time!

Offline Clive

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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2014, 00:25 AM »
You can upload more than one image to a post... just click the link "more attachments" to the right of where you browsed the first time to add an image... here is my wolf from a while ago....
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Offline davejsy

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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2014, 12:32 PM »
Is that a wild wolf Clive, or captive?

Offline Clive

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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2014, 15:33 PM »
It's a captive wild wolf :)

Well at least the species is right.... Taken at zoobotanico Jerez de la Frontera...

cheating I know!
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Offline Clive

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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2014, 21:22 PM »
Fascinating video covering the subject of wolves changing ecosystems from the top down.... Presumably the increase in wolf population in Spain is having a similar effect? Or is Spain and the areas inhabited by wolves too small to make any noticeable difference?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q&feature=youtube_gdata_player
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 22:14 PM by Clive »
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Offline Clive

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« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2014, 13:24 PM »
New blog post over at http://www.iberianature.com/spainblog on the subject of a new census for Iberian wolf

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The governing Partido Popular party of Spain have called for a national census of the Iberian wolf which is about time too as the last reliable census was taken in 1988. The Government will create an updated population census on the Iberian peninsular but presumably this won’t include Portugal. This census will then help to implement a national strategy for the conservation and management of the Iberian wolf and would serve as a key instrument for the conservation and efficient management of the species.

There are claims that some of the major regions with populations of wolf have conflicting management plans For example, the Iberian wolf is a game species north of the Duero, Castilla y León and Galicia But in Asturias sport hunting for this species is not allowed. Sport hunting no but “control” yes. On the 21st of August 2013 “Matley” a wolf that was fitted with a transmitter and part of a scientific monitoring project was “controlled”

“We believe that there should be detailed studies on the status of the wolf in Spain and it’s coexistence with other species and this information will help to avoid unwarranted persecution and also to allow better coordination of conservation plans across the country.”
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Offline Clive

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« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2014, 17:37 PM »
Great sounds of howling wolves

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_BD_1wk3oE&feature=youtu.be

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http://www.lookingforthewilld.com. Iberian wolf pack howling at night at the (Cantabrian mountains, Spain). Recorded by Andoni Canela. August 2013. Manada de lobos ibéricos aullando en la noche (Cordillera Cantábrica). Proyecto 'Looking for the Wild'.
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Offline Bob M

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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2014, 08:58 AM »
This is an article from our local paper from the Basque country yesterday.

http://www.elcorreo.com/vizcaya/v/20140416/vizcaya/batida-acaba-lobo-carranza-20140416.html

It speaks about the first wolf hunt in a nearby region for some time.

It includes a picture of a surprisingly large dead animal which is claimed to be a wolf.   Could anybody comment on that?  Is that really a wolf in the picture?

OH - and "Hi" all.  I've not been on here for a while.

Bob

Offline Waste-Dweller

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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2014, 01:44 AM »
This is an article from our local paper from the Basque country yesterday.

http://www.elcorreo.com/vizcaya/v/20140416/vizcaya/batida-acaba-lobo-carranza-20140416.html

It speaks about the first wolf hunt in a nearby region for some time.

It includes a picture of a surprisingly large dead animal which is claimed to be a wolf.   Could anybody comment on that?  Is that really a wolf in the picture?
Yes. The man may not be very tall and the wolf is stretched out; even a cat is surprisingly long when stretched out.
The 2014 calender of Ecologictas en Acción features wolves, with some glorious photos. https://www.ecologistasenaccion.org/IMG/pdf/calendario_2014_baja.pdf

At the bottom, there are also the addresses and contact nos. for the regional branches.