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 NATURA INDÓMITA The Birding specialist in La Mancha & Sierra Morena (SPAIN)  

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Arroyo en la Sierra de Andujar Natura Indomita

One of the most renowned Parks in Spain, offers superb birding opportunities and the best chances in all the Peninsula for watching Iberian Lynx in its original habitat. Most of Sierra de Andujar has remained untouched for centuries, so here it’s possible to find some of the best Spanish nature sites and, besides, people who still live traditionally.

Located just one and a half hour from Almagro, it has only two main entrances in its 74.774 Hectares, where the traveler will just find a handful of trails to explore.

Andujar’s bird total stands as well over 150 different species, and keen birders should see Spanish Imperial, Golden Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle and Griffon & Black Vultures gliding the blue & most of the year round very sunny sky of this part of Andalusia. Birds highlights could include White-Rumped Swift swirling over the Jandula river banks, Black Wheatear in the slopes of the sierra and Goshawk soaring over the pine trees forests of the Las Tres Sorores.

About the Lynx:

The Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus) is a carnivorous mammal of the Felidae family restricted to just three areas in Spain: Donana National Park, the Sierra de Andujar and the Cardeña & Montoro Natural Parks, the Guadalmellato and Guarrizas rivers (all of them in Andalusia), Extremadura and ten very reduced enclaves in the Ciudad Real and Toledo provinces (Castile-La Mancha region). The total population of Iberian Lynx is now over 400 numbers, of wich more than 200 are found in the Sierra de Andujar and Cardeña areas, over to 90 in Donana, 50-55 in the Guadalmellato and Guarrizas rivers, 15-20 in Extremadura and between 45-50 in the Ciudad Real and Toledo provinces.

The cause of Lynx’s decline was the fall in the number of rabbits due the Myxomatosis Disease (MD) and the Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD), the mortality due to traffic accidents (mostly in Donana area) and the illegal poaching with snares, poison, traps and even shooting carried out by irresponsible hunters.

This beautiful feline, with distinctively long legs, short tail with black end tips and pointed ears, is very well adapted to the forests and scrublands of the Iberian Peninsula, but has the problem that its diet encompasses about 80% exclusively on rabbits, placing it on the verge of extinction due lagomorph diseases. Though seeing a Lynx is a challenging task that may not produce good results, its high fidelity to the territory and its crepuscular behavior can bring exciting opportunities to all nature lovers. December, January and February (the Lynx mating season) and March-April-May (when its cubs are born) are the best moments to try on the Lynx defiance.

Despite their relative small size compared with other big mammals, encounters with the Lynx are relatively easy if you seek with determination and patience. Their very well-known patterns of behavior made of this endangered wild cat a predictable prey, but be prepared for an intense search that, eventually, can provide the naturalist one of the greatest rewards. Lynx are easily found in December & January, but other months, such as November, February & March, could be as good as the mentioned. Another advice is to avoid the summer months, when the temperature into the park can exceed 40 degrees at noon and 25 degrees in the morning.

Without any doubt the Lynx is the star of this huge park that needs more than one day to go through, but nature lovers should not neglect the high chances to watch Otters in the Jandula river, Red Deers, Muflons and Fallow Deers in the rolling hills covered with scattered and very scenic Holm Oaks, Iberian Ibex in the slopes of the sierras or to enjoy the rare privilege of hearing the howl of the latest Southern Iberian Wolves of Spain. Spanish Bull is another highlight for the visitor.

Other interesting animals that are common sights in the cold mornings are Egyptian Moongose, Wild Boar, Weasel, and, talking about birds, Eagle-Owl, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Azur-Winged Magpie, Bee-Eater, Rock & Cirl Bunting, Black Wheatear, Golden Oriole, Hawfinch and the beautiful Blue-Rock Thrush.

Water Snake (Natrix maura) and Spanish Terrapin are usual dwellers of the banks of the river Jandula.

Contact

C/ Ejido de San Juan, 39
13720 - Almagro (Ciudad Real)
Phone: 926-860806
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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