Sunday, 22 October 2017
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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. 

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!

Releasing the KestrelOn Oct 29th, a group from the Rotary Club Estoi Palace International paid a visit to The Wildlife Rehabilitation and Investigation Centre for the Ria Formosa ( RIAS) near Olhão. Originally established in the 1990s as a bird rehabilitation centre, RIAS has been operating in its present form since October 2009. Its main objectives are the rehabilitation of injured and debilitated wildlife; investigating the risk factors for their conservation and educating the public regarding the importance of the biodiversity and the environment.

Aljezur's Amazing AlpacasThe Algarve’s west coast is not the Andes, nor does it soar 5,000 metres above sea level. But it is now home to a herd of animals which originated in those high plains of west-central South America; the alpaca. Matt and Sally Henman have created “Aljezur Alpacas” here on the Vale da Telha plateau.
And although their paddocks are capable of sustaining up to 100 alpacas, they intend to increase their current herd from eight to a maximum of 50 through a careful breeding programme in association with other pedigree farms including the nearest such breeder, based in Andalusia in Spain.

Finding birds in south Portugal by Dave Gosney on DVDDid you know that Iberia has a number of birds that are difficult or impossible to see anywhere else in Europe and that almost all of these can be found in southern Portugal? Even if you're not a birdwatcher you might wonder where in Portugal you would need to go to see these special birds such as Black-shouldered Kite, Azure-winged Magpie, Great Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Iberian Chiffchaff, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Balearic Shearwater, Audouin's Gull and Red-necked Nightjar. Well, thanks to a new book, you need wonder no more.

The view from Quinta do Barranco da EstradaWe arrive at “Paradise in Portugal” via the villages of “Indigestion” (Azia), “Purgatory” (Purgatório) and “It’s Fine” (Está Bem). The mood is set. This is going to be different - and the final corner, rounded after miles of wild country and four kilometres of dirt track, provides that “wow” moment. The point where you can’t quite believe what you are seeing...

...Welcome to Quinta do Barranco da Estrada, the absolutely-away-from-it-all country lodge run by Frank and Daniela McClintock beside the Barragem de Santa Clara, the largest dam in Portugal after Alqueva.