Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Marshes of Western Spain

On April 22 we left Portugal for Huelva, in southern Spain, where we met Javier and Virginia Grijalbo. Javi is an old friend of Janet's from her student days in Madrid, and it had been 35 years ! What a great moment to see each other again after so long. Not to mention that Javi is a well-known naturalist and illustrator in Spain-- the perfect guide for the Spanish 38th parallel. The marshes of Doñana and Huelva are renowned for their water birds (including flamingos, spoonbills, egrets, and chaffinch, shown int these photos) and for the wetlands at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River (we will be following that major river upstream from here). The birds and wetlands did not disappoint. We also visited the Iberian Lynx Captive Breeding Center in Acebuche, inside Doñana National Park (37°09'; 6°29'), and met with Director Antonio Rivas. The lynx is the most endangered cat in the world; and the breeding adults and cubs are definitely off limits to visitors but we were privileged to see the action on the video screens that are monitored night and day (check the photos at their website: Breeding and births have been occurring here and at several other sites and the plan is to move adult lynx into the wild. In fact, in the days ahead, we will follow the Guadalquivir River upstream and visit the site along the 38th parallel in the Sierra Morena mountains where several reintroductions have occurred in recent months. Stay tuned!


  1. Hi David and Janet,

    I'm trying to get hold of Antonio Rivas of the El Acebuche lynx breeding centre as I am developing a natural history film idea about the lynx conservation programme. I just wondered if after your visit to the centre you have a contact number or email address for Antonio Rivas or the breeding centre? Any help is very much appreciated! Thanks, Laura (email lauraflegg@tigressproductions.co.uk)

  2. We visited the Monfragüe National Park which was incredible. We saw some amazing wildlife, in particular a Great Bustard which is very rare and some other fascinating reptiles. This looks like a great destination for our next trip! How does this compare to The marshes of Doñana?