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Wolves in Sierra de la Culebra

Posted Friday 23rd October 2015 at 06:20 by Moncho
Updated Friday 23rd October 2015 at 06:25 by Moncho
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This summer I went with my family to see wolves in Sierra de la Culebra. We were in the mountain two dawns and two sunsets to see them. We stood with scopes on a track on the hillside that overlooked the valley.
The first sundown was unsuccesful but the dawn of the next day was successful. At about 8 am four wolves appeared in a firewall between the forest and the scrubland. They stayed resting in the firewall for good time.
And the wolves went out in the scrubland.
We kept watching the valley inhabited by the wolf pack. An irregular trapezoid 10*7 kilometers on the right bank of the Valparaiso Dam to Folgoso de la Carballeda and to San Pedro de las Herrerías.
The cut was empty of wolves, in fact some deer began to cross it. The cliffs behind us showed more of the usual vultures. And when the sun was warming up the air at 9:18 they began to fall flying to Valdalla river, in which invisibly channel from our position was apparently a dead deer. Not only our guide had the suspect of this, the forest ranger confirmed it to us. He had been the day before in the area, but he can not find the corpse because he was without dog this day and the bushes that we saw flat from the hight distance of the hill were impenetrable for a long quest of the corpse in the real place. The forest ranger was investigating about a posible illness of the deers.
At first we saw only Griffon vultures, in a large number, perhaps 15 or 20 but finally also it appeared some black vulture. The vultures were going to the slopes alongside river Valdalla.
And though I could not capture the moment with my camera, suddenly the four wolves appeared running and jumping against the vultures and claiming the propierty of the corpse. I have been in places with large more wildlife as Coto de Doñana, but the presence of a large predator gives a feeling and a value to Sierra de la Culebra, which is only a memory in most of Western Europe. In some sense is the most similar place to a "Serengeti" that you can see in Western Europe. In fact Sierra de la Culebra was the last refuge of wolves in Western Europe in his near extermination in the 70´s.
That evening only a passing wolf appeared for a few seconds. The next morning we did not see wolves. Of course, the four days we saw dozens and dozens of deers and some roe deer. Each week wolves need a prey: a deer, a roe deer or a wildboard, now in summer with four cubs something else.
Because the pressure of the predator The deers have some of the best trophies in Spain.
The stalkings were supplemented by some guided tours and workshops like of comparative study between a wolf and a mastiff skulls, footprints, etc.
We also saw other species such as partridges, crows, raptors warblers and some reptile.
I can only strongly recommend our guide: the biologist Javier Talegón and his company:
If you want to inform about his activities here's his facebook
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