Spanish imperial eagle
The Spanish imperial eagle known as the Iberian imperial eagle, Spanish eagle, or Adalbert's eagle, is a threatened species of eagle native to the Iberian Peninsula. The binomial commemorates Prince Adalbert of Bavaria; the Spanish imperial eagle was considered to be a subspecies of the eastern imperial eagle, but is now recognised as a separate species due to differences in morphology and molecular characteristics. This is a large raptor and large eagle, broadly similar in size to its cousin, the eastern imperial eagle, found in a different distributional range. Compared to sympatric largish booted eagles, it is somewhat smaller than the golden eagle and somewhat larger than the Bonelli's eagle. Spanish imperial eagle can weigh from 2.5 to 4.8 kg, with average weights ranging from 3.19 to 3.93 kg. This species has a wingspan of 177 to 220 cm; the adult resembles the eastern imperial eagle and can superficially suggest the golden eagle, but is overall a darker color than either, a rich blackish-brown which extends all the way to the throat.
Like the eastern imperial, the adult has a broad distinctive white band on the shoulder and leading edge of the wing and a much paler tawny color on the nape and crown, unlike the golden-yellow color on a similar area in the golden eagle. The juvenile Spanish imperial eagle is different from adults and other large raptors in this range, being overall a uniform pale straw-sandy colour, contrasting with broad black bands on both the upper and lower sides of the wings. Smaller than the small race of golden eagle found in the Iberian peninsula, it is somewhat slighter and slenderer in appearance compared to the more powerful golden species, with a longer neck, much flatter wing profile in flight than the upturned dihedral typical of a golden eagle; the species occurs in central and south-west Spain and adjacent areas of Portugal, in the Iberian peninsula. Its stronghold is in the dehesa woodlands of central and south-west Spain, such as in Extremadura, Ciudad Real and areas in the north of Huelva and Seville's Sierra Norte.
The Spanish imperial eagle is a resident species, unlike the migratory eastern imperial eagle. Stable occurrence in Morocco is disputed but immature birds during the dispersion period visit Morocco. Rising numbers of vagrant birds born in Spain and electrocuted in Morocco have been noted. Vagrant birds have reached Mauritania and Senegal. North of its natural range, vagrants have reached as far as the Netherlands in one rare occasion. Nesting habitat is dry, mature woodlands, which they utilize for nesting and seclusion, but nests are most fairly close to shrubby openings and wetland areas where prey is more to be concentrated. A shy species toward man, they only nest where human disturbance is quite low. Like most raptors, they are territorial and tend to maintain a stable home range. Spanish imperial eagles nest from February to April; the nesting pair will construct a nest of as much as 1.5 m across at first build, which will increase in time in mature Quercus suber or pine trees. Clutch size is 2 to 3 eggs, with an incubation period of about 43 days, but on average about 1.23-1.4 fledglings are produced per nest.
Nestling mortality is due to human disturbance and destruction and nest collapses, secondarily due to predation and siblicide. Fledging is reached at 63-77 days of age but juveniles can linger for an long period, to at least 160 days after fledging, it feeds on European rabbits, which comprised about 58% of this species' diet before myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease reduced the rabbit's native Iberian population. As rabbit population crashed they've been recorded feeding on a wide range of vertebrates with varied success depending upon prey populations and may become semi-specialized hunters of water birds Eurasian coots and geese taking some numbers of partridges and crows and any other bird they happen to encounter that's vulnerable to ambush. More than 60 bird species are known in be included in their prey spectrum. Several mammals may too be taken including various rodents, mustelids and other large predators such as red foxes or—rarely, since they are not present in the eagle's habitat—domestic cats and small dogs.
Reptiles or fish may be preyed upon. The largest prey taken by this species may exceed 3.3 kg, such as foxes, greylag geese or white storks, but mean prey mass is low in areas with fewer rabbits. One study reported mean prey mass as 450 g locally, though average prey size has been reported more highly; the Spanish imperial eagle is one of several rabbit-favoring birds of prey in Spain along with the specialized Iberian lynx. This species is segregated by habitat from other eagles that specialize on rabbits here to lessen direct competition, as the imperial eagle favors woods, whereas the golden and Bonelli's eagles tend to dwell in much rockier areas. However, Spanish imperial eagles quarrel over food with various raptors much larger vultures, the raptors may at times try to kill the young of one another. In one case, in protection their own nest, an adult Spanish
Province of Salamanca
Salamanca is a province of western Spain, in the western part of the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is bordered by the provinces of Zamora, Valladolid, Ávila, Cáceres, it has an area of 12,349 km ² and in 2018 had a population of 331,473 people. It is divided into 11 comarcas, 32 mancomunidades and five judicial districts. Of the 362 municipalities, more than half are villages with fewer than 300 people; the Vettones occupied the areas of the current Spanish provinces of Salamanca and Ávila, as well as parts of Cáceres and Zamora. They were a pre-Roman people of Celtic culture, their numerous archaeological sites exist throughout the province, several locality names have Vettone origin, some of which are quite important. This is the case of Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo. Vettone villages were established on the banks of rivers or on mountains. Examples include Salamanca and Ledesma, built along the Tormes, Bermellar, El Castillo Moncalvo, Picon de la Mora and Castro de Yecla la Vieja next to Huebra, Ciudad Rodrigo, Irueña and Lerilla on the banks of the Agueda and Castro de Las Merchanas, in a loop of the Camaces.
The area between La Armuña and Salamanca marked the border between Vettones and Vaccaei, the other pre-Roman people of the province. They were situated in the northeast area of the province. Salamanca Province is situated in the western part of Castile and León, it has average altitude of 823 meters, but there are large variations throughout the province, with 2,428 metres being the highest point at the peak of the Ceja Canchal in the Sierra de Béjar range, 116 metres being the lowest point in the valley of the Salto de Saucelle. Of note is the Sierra de Francia mountain range; the Salamanca hydrographic network is formed by the Duero basin. The most important rivers are the Duero, Tormes, Águeda and Yeltes rivers; the region is well-irrigated with a number of dams and reservoirs, with more 3,400 million cubic meters, it is the province with the third highest water storage capacity in Spain, second only to the Province of Badajoz and the Province of Cáceres. Of particular note is the Almendra Dam, five kilometres from the village of Almendra.
Constructed between 1964 and 1970, the dam forms part of the hydroelectric system known as the Duero Drops, along with the Castro, Ricobayo and Villalcampo. It is one of the largest reservoirs in Spain with an area of 86.5 square kilometres and 2.5 billion cubic metres of water. The dam itself is more than half a kilometre wide and, at a height of 202 metres, it is one of Spain's tallest structures. There are Roman Catholic cathedrals at Ciudad Rodrigo; the Old Cathedral of Salamanca was founded by Bishop Jerome of Périgord, in the 12th century and completed in Romanesque/Gothic style in the 14th century. It is dedicated to Santa Maria de la Sede; the New Cathedral of Salamanca was constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries in the Late Gothic and Baroque styles. Building began in 1513 and the cathedral was consecrated in 1733, it was commissioned by Ferdinand V of Castile of Spain. It was declared a national monument by royal decree in 1887. List of municipalities in Salamanca Kingdom of León Media related to Province of Salamanca at Wikimedia Commons
Black Iberian pig
The Iberian pig is a traditional breed of the domestic pig, native to the Iberian Peninsula. The Iberian pig, whose origins can be traced back to the Neolithic, when animal domestication started, is found in herds clustered in the central and southern part of Portugal and Spain; the most accepted theory is that the first pigs were brought to the Iberian Peninsula by the Phoenicians from the Eastern Mediterranean coast, where they interbred with wild boars. This cross gave rise to the ancestors of; the production of Iberian pig is rooted to the Mediterranean ecosystem. It is a rare example in the world swine production where the pig contributes so decisively to the preservation of the ecosystem; the Iberian breed is one of the few examples of a domesticated breed which has adapted to a pastoral setting where the land is rich in natural resources, in this case acorns from the holm oak, gall oak and cork oak. The numbers of the Iberian breed have been drastically reduced since 1960 due to several factors such as the outbreak of African swine fever and the lowered value of animal fats.
In the past few years, the production of pigs of the Iberian type has increased to satisfy a renewed demand for top quality meat and cured products. At the same time, breed specialisation has led to the disappearance of some ancestral varieties; this traditional breed exhibits a good appetite and propensity to obesity, including a great capacity to accumulate intramuscular and epidermal fat. The high intramuscular fat is; the production of meat products from Iberian pigs is quite distinct from other meat products obtained from selected pigs raised under intensive conditions on industrial farms, it is a good example of high quality and prized meat product. Iberian pigs are interesting from a human biomedical perspective because they present high feed intake and propensity to obesity, compatible with high values of serum leptin; the Iberian pig can be either red or dark in colour, if black ranging from dark to grey, with little or no hair and a lean body, thus giving rise to the familiar name pata negra, or "black hoof".
In traditional management, animals ranged in sparse oak forest, they are moving around and therefore burn more calories than confined pigs. This, in turn, produces the fine bones typical of this kind of jamón ibérico. At least a hectare of healthy dehesa is needed to raise a single pig, since the trees may be several hundred years old, the prospects for reforesting lost dehesa are slim at best. True dehesa is a richly diverse habitat with four different types of oak that are crucial in the production of prime-quality ham; the bulk of the acorn harvest comes from the holm oak from November to February, but the season would be too short without the earlier harvests of Pyrenean oak and Portuguese or gall oak, the late cork oak season, which between them extend the acorn-production period from September to April. Presunto List of pig breeds
Province of Huelva
Huelva is a province of southern Spain, in the western part of the autonomous community of Andalusia. It is bordered by Portugal, the provinces of Badajoz, Cádiz, the Atlantic Ocean, its capital is Huelva. Its area is 10,148 km², its population is 483,792, of whom about 30% live in the capital, its population density is 47.67/km². It contains 79 municipalities; the economy is based on mining. The famous Rio Tinto mines have been worked since before 1000 BC, were the major source of copper for the Roman Empire; as an indication of the scope of ancient mining, sixteen million tons of Roman slag have been identified at the Roman mines. British companies resumed large-scale mining in 1873; the province contains Palos de la Frontera, Moguer, where Christopher Columbus sailed out of on his first voyage in 1492, shares the Parque Nacional de Doñana. The delayed tourist development of the province has allowed better city planning than in other regions on the Spanish coast; the nuclei of Islantilla and Isla Canela are an example of this attempt to plan in a more coherent form.
Although in a smaller scale in comparison to other regions, urban pressure continues. Previous developments that had little planning until recent time are El Rompido, El Portil, Mazagón and Matalascañas. Although Punta Umbría had its beginnings like pedanía de Cartaya, after the democratization of summer tourism, it began its urban development for its proximity to the capital and its location on the beach. Present development would not endure without its vacation housing. Other tourist areas are Nuevo Portil, Punta del Moral, La Antilla and Urbasur; the marismas de Isla Cristina, next to the towns of Ayamonte and Isla Cristina, are a protected nature reserve. Of note is Huelva‘s recent classification of “rural tourism” for its interior mountain range. Huelva has 388 megawatts of wind power, 68 MW biomass power, 66 MW of solar power. A 220 kilovolt transmission line has been constructed to send power to the main grid as well as improving connections between Spain and Portugal. List of municipalities in Huelva Official website Natural Park Doñana Natural Park Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche
Jamón ibérico, "Iberian ham", is a type of cured ham produced in Spain and Portugal. According to Spain's denominación de origen rules on food products, jamón ibérico may be made from black Iberian pigs, or cross-bred pigs so long as they are at least 50% ibérico; the black Iberian pig lives in the central and southwestern region of the Iberian Peninsula, which includes both Portugal and Spain. In Spain, the black Iberian pig is found in the provinces of Huelva, Córdoba, Cáceres, Salamanca, Ciudad Real, Seville. In Portugal the central and southern regions have an abundance of this species, with a predilection for the Alentejo region. In Portugal, the black Iberian pig is referred to as porco preto ibérico or porco alentejano; the black Iberian pig is ingrained in the local Portuguese culture and tradition, with annual festivals in their honor, such as the Feira do Porco Preto, an annual festival in the region of Ourique. After weaning, the piglets are fattened on barley and maize for several weeks.
The pigs are allowed to roam in pasture and oak groves to feed on grass, acorns and roots, until the slaughtering time approaches. At that point, the diet may be limited to olives, chestnuts or acorns for the best quality jamón ibérico, or may be a mix of acorns and commercial feed for lesser qualities; the hams from the slaughtered pigs are salted and left to begin drying for two weeks, after which they are rinsed and left to dry for another four to six weeks. The curing process takes at least twelve months, although some producers cure their jamones ibéricos for up to 48 months. In particular, the ibérico hams from the towns of Guijuelo in the Salamanca province and Jabugo in the Huelva province have their own denominación de origen; the entire town of Jabugo is devoted to the production of jamón ibérico. The town's main square is called La plaza del Jamón; the hams are labeled according to the pigs' diet and the percentage of the pigs' Iberian ancestry, with an acorn diet and pure-bred Iberians being most desirable.
The current labeling system, based on a series of color-coded labels, was phased in starting in January 2014. The finest is called jamón ibérico de bellota; this ham is from free-range pigs that roam oak forests along the border between Spain and Portugal and eat only acorns during this last period. It is known as jamón ibérico de Montanera; the exercise and diet have a significant effect on the flavor of the meat. This grade is divided into black-label jamón 100% ibérico de bellota, produced from pure-bred Iberian pigs, red-label jamón ibérico de bellota from free-range pigs that are not pure-bred. Since 2014, the percentage of Iberian ancestry in the animal must be specified on the label; the next grade is called jamón ibérico cebo de campo. This ham is from pigs that are fed a combination of acorns and grain; as of 2014, this ham bears a green label. The third type is called jamón ibérico de cebo, or jamón ibérico; this ham is from pigs. The ham is cured for 24 months; as of 2014, this ham bears a white label.
Additionally, the word puro can be added to the previous qualities when both the father and mother of the slaughtered animal are of pure breed and duly registered on the pedigree books held by official breeders. Images of acorns and dehesas on product labels are restricted to hams that qualify as bellota; the current labeling system applies to paleta and caña de lomo cuts from Iberian pigs. As of 2014, the term pata negra refers to the black label grade jamón ibérico de bellota' i.e. pure-bred Iberian pigs fed with an acorn only diet. The term refers to the color of the pigs' nails, which are white in most traditional pork breeds, but black for the Black Iberian breed. While as a general rule, a black nail should indicate an Ibérico ham, there are cases of counterfeits, with the nails being manually painted. Jamones de bellota are prized both for rich, savory taste. A good ibérico ham has regular flecks of intramuscular fat; the fat content is high compared to jamón serrano, thus giving a rich taste.
The denominations of origin recognized by the European Union of the Jamón ibérico are: Jamón ibéricos D. O. P. Jabugo – Jamón made in the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park, in the towns of Cumbres Mayores, Jabugo, Galaroza, etc. that make up the production zone of the Denominación de Origen Protegida de Jabugo. Jamón ibérico D. O. P. Los Pedroches – External shape elongated, profiled by the so-called cut in V. Keep the leg and the hoof for easy identification. Characteristic color of the rose to the red purple and appearance to the cut with infiltrated fat in the muscular mass. Jamón ibérico D. O. P. Jamón de Guijuelo – Since the 16th century the characteristic pigs of this denomination are raised in the foothills of the sierras de Gredos and Béjar, within the autonomous communities of Castile and León and Extremadura, as well as in Andalusia and Castile-La Mancha; the zone of elaboration protected is constituted by 77 municipalities of the southeast of the province of Salamanca, being the head town the Guijuelo itself.
60% of Spanish production of Jamón ibérico belongs to the DO Jamón de Guijuelo. Jamón ibérico D
Extremadura is an autonomous community of the western Iberian Peninsula whose capital city is Mérida, recognised by the Statute of Autonomy of Extremadura. It is made up of the two largest provinces of Spain: Badajoz, it is bordered by the provinces of Ávila to the north. Its official language is Spanish, it is an important area for wildlife with the major reserve at Monfragüe, designated a National Park in 2007, the International Tagus River Natural Park. The government of Extremadura is called Gobierno de Extremadura; the Day of Extremadura is celebrated on 8 September. It coincides with the Catholic festivity of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Extremadura is contained between 37° 57′ and 40° 85′ N latitude, 4° 39′ and 7° 33′ W longitude; the area of Extremadura is 41,633 km2, making it the fifth largest of the Spanish autonomous communities. It is located in the Southern Plateau. In the north is the Sistema Central with the highest point in Extremadura, 2,401 m high Calvitero; the main subranges of the Sistema Central in Extremadura are the Sierra de Sierra de Béjar.
In the centre is the Sierra de las Villuercas, which reaches an altitude of 1,603 m on the Pico de las Villuercas. Other notable ranges are Sierra de Montánchez and the Sierra de San Pedro, which form part of the greater Montes de Toledo system. To the south rises the Sierra Morena, which separates Extremadura from Andalusia, the Sierra de Tentudía, with the highest peak in Extremadura as Pico Tentudía at 1,104 m. There are four different hydrographic basins: The basin of the Tagus, with two principal tributaries: on the right, the Tiétar and the Alagón; the tributaries on the right edge carry a large quantity of water, which feed the gorges of the Sistema Central where the rainfall is abundant and the winter brings a great quantity of snow. The basin of the Guadiana, which has principal tributaries: to the right: Guadarranque and Ruecas to the left: Zújar River, its plentiful tributary and the Matachel; the basin of the Guadalquivir with only 1,411 km2 in Extremadura. The basin of the Douro with only 35 km2 in Extremadura.
The climate of Extremadura is hot-summer Mediterranean. It is characterized by its hot and dry summers, with great droughts, its mild winters due to the oceanic influence from its proximity to the Atlantic coast of Portugal; the yearly temperature fluctuates between an average minimum of 4 °C and an average maximum of 33 °C. In the north of Extremadura, the average temperatures are lower than those in the south, with temperatures rising south towards the Sierra Morena, where they drop because of the altitude. During the summer, the average temperature in July is greater than 26 °C, at times reaching 40 °C; the winters are mild, with the lowest temperatures being registered in the mountainous regions, with an average temperature of 7.5 °C. The average snowfall is 40 cm occurring in January and February on high ground. Lusitania, an ancient Roman province including current day Portugal and a central western portion of the current day Spain, covered in those times today's Autonomous Community of Extremadura.
Mérida became the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania, one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire. During the Andalusian period as of 711, present-day Extremadura was on the north-western marches—extremadura is from Latin words meaning "outermost hard", the outermost secure border of an occupied territory—with Mérida being its head city, it was part of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba, but after its definite collapse in 1031 the Caliphate fragmented into small regional kingdoms, the lands of Extremadura were included in the Taifa of Badajoz on two taifa periods. The kingdom in turn broke up twice under Almohad push. After the Almohad disaster in Navas de Tolosa, Extremadura fell to the troops led by Alfonso IX of León in c.1230. Extremadura, an impoverished region of Spain whose difficult conditions pushed many of its ambitious young men to seek their fortunes overseas, was the source of many of the initial Spanish conquerors and settlers in America. Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro, Gonzalo Pizarro, Juan Pizarro, Hernando Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, Andres Tapia, Pedro de Alvarado, Pedro de Valdivia, Inés Suárez, Alonso de Sotomayor, Francisco de Orellana, Pedro Gómez Duran y Chaves, Vasco Núñez de Balboa and many towns and cities in North and South America carry names from their homeland.
Examples include Mérida is the name of the administrative capital of Extremadura, of important cities in Mexico and Venezuela. The two Spanish astronauts, Miguel López-Alegría and Pedro Duque have family connections in Extremadura. King Ferdinand II of Aragon died in the village
Quercus ilex, the evergreen oak, holly oak or holm oak, is a large evergreen oak native to the Mediterranean region. It takes its name from an ancient name for holly, it is a member of the Cerris section of the genus, with acorns. The first trees to be grown from acorns in England are still to be found within the stately grounds of Mamhead Park, Devon. From Britton & Brayley The Beauties of England and Wales: "The woods and plantations of Mamhead are numerous and extensive. Many of them were introduced by Mr Thomas Balle, the last of that family who, on returning from the continent brought with him a quantity of cork, wainscot, oak; the resemblance of the foliage to that of the common European holly, Ilex aquifolium, has led to its common and botanic names. The name ilex was the classical Latin name for the holm oak, but adopted as a botanical genus name for the hollies. An evergreen tree of large size, attaining in favourable places a height of 21–28 m, developing in open situations a huge head of densely leafy branches as much across, the terminal portions of the branches pendulous in old trees.
The trunk is sometimes over 6 m in girth. The young shoots are clothed with a close grey felt; the leaves are variable in shape, most narrowly oval or ovate-lanceolate, 4–8 cm long, 1.2–2.5 cm wide, rounded or broadly tapered at the base, the margins sometimes entire, sometimes more or less remotely toothed. When quite young, both surfaces are clothed with whitish down, which soon falls away from the upper surface leaving it a dark glossy green. Fruits are produced one to three together on a short downy stalk. There are two subspecies: Quercus ilex subsp. Ilex. Native in the north and east of the species' range, from northern Iberia and France east to Greece. Leaves narrow. Quercus ilex subsp. Rotundifolia. Native in the southwest of the species' range, in central and southern Iberia and northwest Africa. Leaves broader. Holm oak grows in pure stands or mixed forest in the Mediterranean and at low or moderate elevations. One of the plant associations in which holm oak is found is the holm oak/Atlas cedar forests of the Atlas Mountains.
In Morocco, some of these mixed forests are habitat to the endangered primate, Barbary macaque, Macaca sylvanus. Holm oak is prevalent from Portugal to Greece along the northern Mediterranean coastal belt, from Morocco to Tunisia along the southern Mediterranean coast. Holm oak is listed as an alien invader; the tree is unable to withstand severe frost, which would prevent it from spreading north, but with climate change, it has penetrated these areas. The largest population of Holm oak in Northern Europe is present on and around St. Boniface Down on the Isle of Wight and into the neighbouring town of Ventnor, has shown to tolerate the high winds on the downs, it is thought that this population's propagation has been bolstered by native Eurasian jays, which harvest acorns from oak trees and store them by burying them in the ground where they may germinate. The wood is hard and tough, has been used since ancient times for general construction purposes as pillars, wagons and wine casks, it is used as firewood and in charcoal manufacture.
The holm oak is one of the top three trees used in the establishment of truffle orchards, or truffières. Truffles grow in an ectomycorrhizal association with the tree's roots; the acorns, like those of the cork oak, are edible and are an important food for free-range pigs reared for ibérico ham production. Boiled in water, the acorns can be used as a medicinal treatment for wound disinfections. Q. ilex can be clipped to form a tall hedge, it is suitable for coastal windbreaks, in any well drained soil. It forms a picturesque rounded head, with pendulous low-hanging branches, its size and solid evergreen character gives it an imposing architectural presence that makes it valuable in many urban and garden settings. While holm oak can be grown in much of maritime northwestern Europe, it is not tolerant of cold continental winters; the TROBI Champion in Gloucestershire measured 27 1⁄4 ft in circumference at 1.2 m height in 1993. Another tree at Courtown House, Ireland, reputedly planted in 1648, measured 20 m in height, with a spread of 43 m in 2010.
A specimen in Milo, in Sicily, is reputed to be 700 years old while a small population on the slopes of northern village of Wardija in Malta are said to be between 500 and 1,000 years old. Prior to the Carthaginian period, holm oak was prevalent on the islands. BBC News Holm Oak: Garden Invader Royal Botanic Garden Flora Europaea: Quercus ilex W. J. Bean Trees and shrubs hardy in the British Isles 8th ed. revised. John Murray. C. Michael Hogan Barbary Macaque: Macaca sylvanus, Globaltwitcher.com, ed. N. Strõmberg Holm Oak K. Rushforth Trees of Britain and Europe. HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-220013-9. Chênes: Quercus ilex Quercus ilex - information, genetic conservation units and related resources. European Forest Genetic Resources Programme Media related to