Tuesday, 06 December 2016
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Little BustardA new survey of one of Portugal’s most threatened birds is being supported with funds by a British wildlife holiday group.

The little bustard – 'Sisão' in Portuguese – is declining in Portugal and Spain. It’s a bird of steppes and low intensity arable cultivations, with a key breeding population in Alentejo.

Reasons for the little bustard’s decline are unclear, and a coalition of nature conservation groups is undertaking a survey this year as part of efforts to tackle the decline.

prosessionarycaterpillarSpain has been warned of the early arrival of lethal caterpillars due to a mild, dry winter similar to the one in Portugal.

The Pine Processionary Caterpillar (Thaumetopoea Pityocampa) poses a danger to children, dogs and some adults.

Robin / pisco-de-peito-ruivo (Erithacus rubecula) in snare trap.A conservation campaign against the illegal trapping of wild birds has been given a boost by a British wildlife holiday group.

A group from Honeyguide Wildlife Holidays has donated 1000 euros to the campaign run by SPEA, Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves (BirdLife in Portugal).

Swiss mobile vets have successful visitDuring a recent visit to the Algarve, members of the Swiss Mobile Veterinary Clinic (SMVC), a charity organisation, saved two badly suffering horses, provided a range of treatments for many others and gave much advice to a number of horse owners and volunteer carers.

Having worked entirely free of charge in daily 16-hour stretches, the founder and president of the SMVC, Christa Seiler-Stocker, and Swiss veterinarian Dr Nina Waldern, feel their latest week-long visit was so worthwhile that they hope to return before this year is out.

Iberian WolfHelp the Portuguese Wolves Keep Their Sanctuary. Don’t Let Our Wolves Become Homeless – Last Push is the final step to raise the money needed to buy the 42-acre site on which the Iberian Wolf Recovery Centre (IWRC) stands. This is the only wolf sanctuary in Portugal, where only 300 of these endangered predators remain in the wild.

elephantCarved elephant tusks displayed and offered for sale by auction at the recent Algarve International Fair were a timely reminder of Portugal’s long association with the ivory trade and of stepped-up global efforts to protect elephants by stopping commerce in ivory and destroying ivory stockpiles.

“Is it ever okay to sell elephant ivory?” a visitor to the fair asked herself on seeing three elaborately carved pieces said to have originated in South Africa “circa 1960,” with estimated auction values of between €240 and €600. 

Processionary CaterpillarsThey have been seen very early this year so I feel I have to put out the warning again - fast! I have searched the books and net to come up with more comprehensive information on them. I must thank the various holiday companies for helping with some of the technical information.

On a personal basis I know of dogs who have lost their tongues to this beast, and it is not a pretty sight and so distressing. There seems to be little local information about them, there are companies here on the Algarve who will spray the pine trees.

A voice for the dolphins being slaughteredI live in Portugal, in The Algarve, and one of the reasons why I love this country is because of its beautiful nature and marine wildlife. The fact that one can take a boat trip and within minutes you can see dolphins swim and dive around the boat is absolutely fascinating and breath-taking.

The Algarve treasures its marine wildlife and therefore I would like to raise awareness for the cruelty that is happening right now, as I’m writing this email, in Japan, Taiji. It has to stop!