Articles posted in Wildlife

21 articles


Butterfly Swarm in Lanzarote

There seems to be an exceptional swarm of butterflies on the island at the moment. The Canary Islands are home to around 600 species (including moths) and more than a quarter of these are not found anywhere else in the world! The Monarch butterfly is probably the most common and there are plenty about this month. Identified by its orange and red wings which are veined with black. The caterpillar feeds on a certain species of Milkweed which can normally be found in border gardens. The population is dependent on the availability of this plant life alone.
The striped caterpillar with the bold warning colours of black and yellow and creamy white is prominent to tell predators that it is nasty-tasting and poisonous.

 

 



We’ve Found Dory

The Acanthurus Monroviae is a tropical fish which lives in the waters of the eastern Atlantic Ocean. The more common name to many of us is Dory which has come from the popular animated films Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. This little blue fish has been found in the sea surrounding the island of La Graciosa the island which is just off the coast of the northen tip of Lanzarote. It’s a rare sighting as the waters are generally cooler around the island. It was luckily discovered by a diver and runner up in under water photography in Spain called Tanuausu Motas. In a  month he has managed to photo 95 different species. Its thought that that the fish could have arrived next to some floating object making it a refugee, making a long journey from the coasts of the neighboring continent of Africa.


Diadema Hedgehogs In Danger

Over the recent months there has been growing concern over the motality of the Antillarum. These white shell creatures can be seen covering the rocks and the seabed all over the Canary Islands but they seem to be dissapearing quickly, so fast that it is thought that 95% have been eliminated. Experts will need to be briefed to carry out a more detailed analysis of what is happening, to stop Diadema hedgehog as they are also known being completely eliminated. One theory is that the sea is an unusual temperature which is well below the average for this time of year. In August it is not normal for seawater to be only 20 degrees, as present the water is a lot cooler which could have provoked a virus or bacteria which is not helping its development


Angel Sharks Being Monitored In The Canaries

The Canarian archipelago is serving as an experimental field for a group of scientists studying the angel shark, or angelfish (Squatina squatina). The species is in danger of extintion and they are now being monitored by a new system using acoustics. Apparentley the waters surrounding the Canary Islands is a safer habitat or them compared to the rest of Europe.

The monitoring consists in placing acoustic marks on the first dorsal fin of the adults in order to follow up and obtain information about each specimen. Through strategically installed receivers in the perimeter of the marine reserve, with a range of up to 500 meters in diameter, receive accurate information on patterns of distribution, habitat use and the population structure of the angelfish in thE area.


Pigeon Racing Lanzarote

You dont see many pigeons around on a day to day bases, so much so you would wonder if these birds are resident on the island. There are however quite a few natives that have pigeon lofts in their houses and take part in sporting events and use them for racing. There are at leat 200 pigein fanciers in Lanzarote alone spread amongst 4 clubs on the island. You can count this as a popular sport in the Canaries as the population of fancias is estimated around 60% all over Spain. Its a quite a difficult place to race these birds due to the high winds and dry landscape meaning the birds find it very difficult to find water to drink.

There is at the moment a dispute in Lanzarote which is looking to be resolved. Aena (the company which is in charge of Arrecife airport) are looking for compensation of 177,000 euros due to events taking place which invade airspace and put flights at risk.


Threat to Canarian Barn Owl

The environmental organization for birdlife has asked the Canary Islands to develope a conservation plan for the Barn Owl which records have shown a 13% decline in the last decade. The Canarian Majorera Owl has been nationaly catagorised as vulnerable and has been included in the Red Book of birds in Spain and listed as endangered. The threats faced by these owls are the same as the threats experienced in the whole of Spain, mainly loss of habitat (especially on the coast), the modification of agricultural landscape and the uncontrolled use of poison in the countryside


Shark Diving

The waters around Lanzarote are another world completely as any diver would tell you. Many people are aware of the dolphins that sometimes can be seen around the shores and there is an abundance of all types of different fish lying beneath the surface.

A  trip to the Lanzarote Aquarium is an experience to see different species of sharks that are rarely encountered in the sea. You can actualy dive and observe these special creatures close up. Before the dive you will be informed about the morphology of sharks and how to behave around these predators. All dives are guided by one of our instructors as well as the marine biologist of the aquarium. We guarantee for your safety during the whole experience.

Even as a non-diver you can experience great adventure. You will get a detailed orientation with a practical lesson in the pool prior to your dive in the aquarium. for full information visit the Aquatis Diving Center website

 


Jellyfish

It doesn’t happen often and if it does there is plenty of warning so that you can take care but some jellyfish have been spotted around the Papagayo beaches which has meant that a yellow flag has been hoisted.

Jellyfish are probably some of the most unusual and mysterious creatures that you’ll ever encounter. Jellyfish are about 98 percent water. If a jellyfish washes up on the beach, it will mostly disappear as the water evaporates. Most are transparent and bell-shaped. Their bodies have radial symmetry,which means that the body parts extend from a central point like the spokes on a wheel. If you cut a jellyfish in half at any point, you’ll always get equal halves. Jellyfish have very simple bodies — they don’t have bones, a brain or a heart. To see light, detect smells and orient themselves, they have rudimentary sensory nerves at the base of their tentacles.

Take care if you see one as they gan give you a very nasty sting

Common signs and symptoms of jellyfish stings include:

  • Burning, prickling, stinging pain
  • Red, brown or purplish tracks on the skin — a “print” of the tentacles’ contact with your skin
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Throbbing pain that radiates up a leg or an arm

Severe jellyfish stings can affect multiple body systems. These reactions may appear rapidly or several hours after the stings. Signs and symptoms of severe jellyfish stings include:

  • Stomach pain, nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain or spasms
  • Weakness, drowsiness, fainting and confusion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart problems

The severity of your reaction depends on:

  • The type and size of the jellyfish
  • Your age, size and health, with severe reactions more likely in children and people in poor health
  • How long you were exposed to the stingers
  • How much of your skin is affected

When to see a doctor

Seek emergency treatment if you have severe symptoms.

Causes

Jellyfish tentacles contain microscopic barbed stingers. Each stinger has a tiny bulb that holds venom and a coiled, sharp-tipped tube. The jellyfish uses the venom to protect itself and kill prey.

When you brush against a tentacle, tiny triggers on its surface release the stingers. The tube penetrates the skin and releases venom. It affects the immediate area of contact and may enter the bloodstream.

Jellyfish that have washed up on a beach may still release venomous stingers if touched.

Types of jellyfish

While many types of jellyfish are relatively harmless to humans, some can cause severe pain and are more likely to cause a systemic reaction. These jellyfish cause more-serious problems in people:

  • Box jellyfish. Box jellyfish can cause intense pain. Life-threatening reactions — although rare — are more common with this type. The more dangerous species of box jellyfish are in the warm waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans.
  • Portuguese man-of-war. Also called bluebottle jellyfish, Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish live mostly in warmer seas. This type has a blue or purplish gas-filled bubble that keeps it afloat on the water and acts as a sail.
  • Sea nettle. Common in both warm and cool seawaters, sea nettles live along the northeast coast of the United States and are abundant in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Lion’s mane jellyfish. These are the world’s largest jellyfish, with a body diameter of more than 3 feet (1 meter). They’re most common in cooler, northern regions of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Risk factors

Conditions that increase your risk of getting stung by jellyfish include:

  • Swimming at times when jellyfish appear in large numbers (a jellyfish bloom)
  • Swimming or diving in jellyfish areas without protective clothing
  • Playing or sunbathing where jellyfish are washed up on the beach
  • Swimming in a place known to have many jellyfish

Complications

Possible complications of a jellyfish sting include:

  • Delayed hypersensitivity reaction, causing blisters, rash or other skin irritations one to two weeks after the sting
  • Irukandji syndrome, which causes chest and stomach pain, high blood pressure and heart problems

Good news is you wont find them in your swimming pool!


Lanzarote Turtles

Up to six turtle species have been identified in the Canaries, the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) being the most prolific. Local coastal areas provide a source of food and an area of development for juveniles and subadults, proceeding from American and Cape Verde nesting populations. Their diet is mostly carnivorous, based on molluscs, crustaceans, echinoderms, fish and jellyfish – the latter often confused with floating plastic bag refuse. Loggerhead turtles have been catalogued as being endangered in both community waters and worldwide.