Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii) nesting colony is increasing year after year in Llobregat Delta, a small marshy area only 5 quilometers South of Barcelona. In 2011, 380 pairs were breeding in an artificial island in this wetland. The figure is very important since it is numbering more than whole population in countries such as France, Turkey, Croatia, Portugal or Cyprus (2008 World Audouin’s Gull Population Census).
Audouin’s Gull (Ichtiaetus audouinii) is a typical coastal bird. Here an adult in flight along with a YL Gull (Larus michahellis). Image: Carles Oliver
Nowadays, and now talking on 2018, the bird can be easily seen from March to September along Barcelona coast line, often stopping at the town beaches few metres away from the people. Moreover, a overwintering population is to be found along the coast in the Northern Metropolitan Area.
First breeding record in Llobregat Delta is dated in 2009, when four pairs nested inside one of the Natural Reserve. In 2010 the colony moved to the current placement and 140 pairs breeded there. In 2011 their number have increased until 380 pairs with a rate of survival since over 300 young Audouin’s flew from the colony.
This is already one of the largest Audouin’s Gull colonies in the world. Ebro Delta (15.000 pairs in 2008) keeps being, by far, the largest one. Second largest colony is located in Torrevieja (Alacant, Spain), where up to 3.823 were counted in 2008. The colony at Llobregat Delta had surpassed one of the most traditional nesting places for the species, the one located at Illes Columbretes (120 pairs in 2010).
At the end of the XX century the French Goverment started a program to save the last Brown Bear population in the Pyrenees. It is almost 15 years since the first brown bear coming from Slovenia was liberated in the Pyrenees, joining the tiny population (2-5 individuals) these mountains had at this time. There was controversial in French and Catalan media and also some local people were opposite to brown bears.
Despite these initial problems, today the brown bear population is well established in Central Pyrenees, mainly around Val d’Aran, in Catalonia. There are about 30 brown bears in the whole of the Pyrenees, and about 25 living in Val d’Aran and areas around (mainly north Pallars). It is a nice new to say local people have changed their opinions about bears since most of them are proud to have this impressive mammal living in their forests.
Brown Bear in the Pyrenees. Photo; Carles Oliver
2011/12 winter is gonna see a big number of puppies because of until there are 6 females to reproduce. Since XXth 80’s that there are not so many females to reproduce in one spring in the Pyrenees!! This is an astonishing change in thirty years, when the species was almost erradicated from these mountains and this change is thanks to French and Catalan Goverments as well as DEPANA, ADET, Fiep and other NGO’s.