Tag: Animal protection

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 9-11 June 2023


A delightful second weekend of June ahead with all kinds of events to get involved with on Gran Canaria. The Harvest Fair arrives on the south, in El Tablero, patron saints’ fiestas in honour of San Antonio of Padua and San Pedro are happening around the island, Corpus Christi salt carpets and processions are held this Sunday, markets and music festivals as well as sporting events. Hopefully the weather will sustain all these wonderful festivities and happenings in the glorious outdoors, on which so much depends on this little island.

Menas Case: Foundation Siglo XXI directors allegedly filed false invoices, unrealistic expenses and repeatedly drew funds from ATMs, meant for the care of migrant children, even charging botox facial treatments and posh restaurant bills to foundation debit cards

A comprehensive analysis conducted by Group I of the Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) of the National Police yielded scandalous results, writes Spanish language daily Canarias7, regarding the alleged irregular use of the public funds intended for the care of unaccompanied minors, by the suspected to have been perpetrated by centres managed by the Foundation Social Response Siglo XXI on Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. In this case, driven by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, investigators discovered that the director of the Guiniguada centre charged the NGO responsible for €1,500 worth of beauty treatments and €1,113 for bills at top restaurants including Vinófilos, El Vasco de Vegueta, and Triciclo.



Centre-Right Pact Between Regionalists (CC) And Resident Conservatives (PPAV) Returns Marco Aurelio Perez As Southern Mayor

The conservative Partido Popular-Agrupación de Vecinos (PP-AV) and the right of centre regionalist Coalición Canaria (CC) have this Thursday signed a local government pact that will shape the future of the southern Gran Canaria tourism municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. The alliance, dubbed a “Pact for Stability and Socioeconomic Progress of San Bartolomé Tirajana”, represents 60% of the votes cast in the municipality’s recent local elections, emphasised the  mayor-elect, Marco Aurelio Pérez (PP-AV), who returns for the third time to lead the local council responsible for some of the most important tourism areas on the island, including Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés and San Agustín.



Local Government Coalition Agreement Maspalomas and the South of Gran Canaria

A governing coalition pact has been finalised in San Bartolomé de Tirajana. The Popular Party–Agrupación de Vecinos (PP-AV) conservative residents party is to join forces with regionalist centre-right Coalición Canaria (CC) to govern the main tourist municipality on Gran Canaria for the next four years. Marco Aurelio Pérez will serve as mayor for the entire four-year term, and the Popular Party will take charge of Employment, Sports, Roads and Infrastructure, and Human Resources, among other areas. The regionalists, led by Alejandro Marichal, will oversee Urban Planning, Economy and Finance, and Tourism as their main departments.



Storm Óscar Latest: Government of the Canary Islands Declares Rain Alert for Western Islands and Gran Canaria

A storm system, dubbed Óscar, has formed over the last few days over the mid-north Atlantic, unusual for this time of year, and has led to concern from meteorologists and journalists as it passes south of the Azores, its tail should reach The Canary Islands, before the system heads northeast towards mainland Spain.  Advisory warnings have been issued in expectation of heavy rainfall, primarily in the Western Isles of the Canary Islands Archipelago, though some rainfall is also expected to reach Gran Canaria over the next couple of days.  It seems unlikely that any major consequences will stem from the bad weather, however these things can be unpredictable and so every precaution is taken to ensure people are informed and kept safe.




Two detained in an animal abuse case in Tauro

The Guardia Civil detained two people for an alleged crime of continual animal abuse, thought to have been committed by keeping 23 dogs, two horses a donkey, 60 chickens, four sheep and six goats “in conditions incompatible with life”.



The only water available to some of the animals was completely full of larvae due to the lack of hygiene and many of them presented cachexia, parasites and physical symptoms of inactivity.
After receiving a complaint, reporting what was happening, Seprona carried out an inspection in the indicated area, located in Tauro in the municipality of Mogán, in which a veterinarian from the Regional Ministry of Agriculture participated along with another from an animal protector.
After verifying that the facilities did not meet the minimum health safety or space conditions for the animals, 23 dogs were seized and taken by an animal protector. An unequivocal symptom that the animals did not have any type of physical activity was found in their extremely long nails, which made them barely able to move in a coordinated way.


Feral cat hunting is to be included in new Canary Islands Biodiversity Law, Spanish Senator complains

Spanish Senator Carles Mulet, a member of the Parliamentary Association in Defense of Animal Rights (APDDA), has denounced to the Central Government a draft of the new Canary Islands Biodiversity Law because he maintains that it includes cats as a species that can be legally hunted.  Feral cat hunting, by hunters with guns, during hunting season has historically been allowed if there is no way to identify the animal has an owner. Consequently many cats in the wild are shot, and many report domestic cats being killed due to misidentification.



In a statement sent this Tuesday, the Compromís parliamentarian also warns that the new regulation, that is intended in its current form to be approved, will require municipalities to eradicate urban feline colonies as well as other modifications that could be harmful to many animals.
In a question that he formulated in writing to the Government, Mullet echoed the complaints of animal protection associations in the Canary Islands, which point out that the new law aims to regulate all cats without visible identification – those that have owners and those who have a chip- if they are in hunting grounds can be hunted.
Likewise, the associations have warned that the future law wants municipalities to avoid and eradicate feral cat colonies, while the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method does not appear in the text at all, despite being the scientific method of choice, and the most effective , according the animal defenders, for the control of feline populations.
Associations also emphasise that the new law proposes that privately owned ferrets be sterilised, but not those that are in the possession of hunters, which could reproduce uncontrollably when they are lost or are foreseeably abandoned.
The senator has also asked the Government if, in the draft Animal Welfare Law that is being prepared, measures will be included that can guarantee the ethical management of urban feline colonies following the TNR model throughout the Spanish territory.
Mulet is also interested in whether, in the new law from Spain’s central government, if considering feral domestic animals as hunting species could, in fact, be made illegal and it could enforce the application of ethical methods of population control for species by prohibiting, for example, the shooting of goats, as has recently been reported on Tenerife.


Pruning and burning at the peaks and inland areas of Gran Canaria

You may see occasional columns of smoke at the summits of Gran Canaria around this time of year, as the Cabildo (island government) carry out pruning and ‘burning heaps’ projects around the the island’s peaks, aimed at preventing the spread of forest fires,  also using the burnt trunks, of non-native Pinus Radiata, the Monterey pine, which were introduced in the 1950s, they are not resistant to fire like the canary islands pine, so they now use these to create earthwork barriers, called wrapping, to help prevent erosion.



Winter is when forest fire crews and the environment agency take advantage of the cooler weather to carry out fire prevention actions, such as prescribed burns, and advise that citizens use this time of year to clean the surroundings of their houses to help protect from fires, as otherwise it can hinder the work of fire crews in the event of a blaze. Home owners in the more mountainous areas are advised to removed debris and weeds from their property boundaries, since the accumulation of dry vegetation offers fire the continuity it needs to expand, as happened in 2019.
The Cabildo environmental and forestry brigades, which carry out their work in public woodlands, have already completed burning and wrapping in the Degollada de Las Palomas area, in the El Huerto nursery, and around the perimeters of Artenara, including the heliport, as well as in Llanos de Ana López in San Mateo and in Monte de Crespo of Valleseco, close to where the 2019 fire originated.
The tasks, which will continue over the coming weeks, involve the preventive pruning of Canary Island pines and Radiatas in order to make it difficult for fire to reach their crowns, which apart from helping to preserve the specimens, slows the potential for the spread of fires. After that, the brigades create burning heaps along with branches and other fallen debris to eliminate this potential wildfire fuel.
These silvicultural tasks aim to leave wild fires without fuel while providing an opportunity for the selective cutting of specimens with signs of disease or weakness, especially in areas with an excessive concentration of trees. Likewise, the Radiata pines affected by the fires, that are still standing despite being dead, are cut down to avoid the risks associated with their falling due to strong winds or any other cause.
These trunks are then used to stop erosion of the slopes, and are placed perpendicular or to forming V shapes, depending on the terrain and the slope, so that they help retain soil in case of rain and runoff.
These works also clear the ground for new reforestations with Canary Island pine, which encourages this endemic species to gain ground against Radiata, also known as the California pine, a variety with great adaptability and rapid growth that was originally used here in the 1950s to reforest large areas of Gran Canaria, although their resistance to fire is much lower.


Maspalomas Dunes recover to look more like the dreamy landscape it was 50 years ago, before mass tourism

The so-called ‘lockdown’ confinement restrictions on the sunny subtropical island of Gran Canaria, coupled with #Tourism0, has had a very positive effect on the world famous Dunes of Maspalomas. There have been no passers-by or visitors which has resulted there no longer being any footprints visible and the unique landscape have recovered its natural “dreamy” sand dunes unseen in their virgin state for 50 years. It’s infinite undulations, reminiscent of the nearby Sahara dessert just 160km to the east, have returned to the south of Gran Canaria.
Coronavirus precautions, and the state of emergency, have had harsh consequences for the entire population, and many agree that they have been absolutely necessary to preserve the lives of the more than 800,000 people who live on the island. One wonderful benefit has been a recovery of essential ecological processes from across diverse environments, including flowering of beautiful natural endemic flora and the uninterrupted reproduction of spring birds taking advantage of the newly calmed environment. Miguel Ángel Peña, technical director of the Masdunas project, last week highlighted the fact that there seems to have been positive regenerative results at a higher pace than had previously expected.
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(masdunas.es) The MASDUNAS project is an experiment that was born with the aim of finding the appropriate formulas to diminish, as much as possible, the process of environmental degradation of the Maspalomas dunes. This process has been occurring during the last 50 years as a result of touristic development. Through this project the disappearance of the dune field predicted for the next century could be avoided, conserving its environmental value and its importance as a tourist attraction.
SEDIMENTARY EROSION the building process has altered the dune dynamics, generating a process of sand loss. It’s estimated that 45.000 of sand are lost per year and that they end up at the 3 m bottom of the sea.
This has led to an increase in vegetation covering of the inland areas, as well as a decrease in areas occupied by mobile dunes and an increase in eroded areas (deflation surfaces). If this situation continues, the system could run out of sand in less than a century.
LOSS OF Traganum moquinii a significant part of individuals belonging to this species has been lost. This has favoured the disappearance of dunes and the formation of eroded zones.
LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY invasive alien species of animals and plants are displacing the local biota. This produces alterations in the functioning of the ecosystem and also produces a loss of the natural heritage.
ALTERATION OF THE LANDSCAPE and reduction of the public use: the alteration of rocks and vegetation due to the construction of wooden or stone structures where people take shelter (“goros”), the opening of new trails, littering and other irresponsible behaviour generate a negative impact on the local biota, the conservation of the space and the enjoyment of the rest of the visitors.
3 REINTRODUCTION OF 60.000 m OF SAND over the two years that the project will last. From Punta de la Bajeta, just before it gets lost by falling to the bottom of the sea, sand is collected and deposited along Playa del Inglés, so that it can join the sedimentary cycle.
INSTALLATION OF SAND-TRAPPING FENCES associated to Traganum moquinii individuals.
CONTROL OF INVASIVE ALIEN plant and animal species.
REPLACEMENT OF THE BEACONS at the original trails.
SCIENTIFIC MONITORING of the project’s actions and of their real effects on the system.
TO CHECK THE EFFICIENCY OF THE MEASURES taken to replace the sand that is lost every year in order to be able to implement the method in successive years.
TO STUDY THE CAPACITY OF SAND-TRAPPING FENCES and associated Traganum moquinii plants to form dunes.
TO RECOVER THE Traganum moquinii population.
TO RECOVER THE LOCAL BIOTA BY CONTROLLING invasive alien species in the reserve.
TO IMPROVE the public use.
The marine currents deposit the sand on the shore, and once it has dried, the wind moves it inland. Later, plants such as the Traganum moquinii favor sand accumulation progressively until it forms a mound, the dune. This dune grows with the progressive increment of sand and the increase in plant height. Some sand also surrounds the plants and is deposited behind them (forming shadow dunes). The dune continues to advance until it is released from the plants forming big mobile dunes that advance to the Maspalomas beach.
The Maspalomas dune system presents a sedimentary cycle where the wind and the sea play a fundamental role. The sand enters the system through Playa del Inglés, where it is transported inland by the trade winds (NE). Once the free dunes have been formed, they advance in the E-W and NE-SW directions until they reach the sea through the Maspalomas beach. When storms with heavy SW wind occur, the Maspalomas beach is eroded and part of the sand is deposited in Punta de la Bajeta. Some of these sediments return to join this sedimentary cycle, while some fall to a depth that prevents it from entering this cycle again.
For your own safety and for the conservation of the natural environment, please walk only within the marked trails. The appropriate place to sunbathe, rest and perform other activities is the beach. It is not allowed to stay in the natural reserve and it can only be transited within the marked trails.



46 illegal actions detected in Special Conservation Zones during the state of alarm in the Archipelago

The Ministry of Ecological Transition, The Fight against Climate Change and Territorial Planning of the Government of the Canary Islands has detected a total of 46 illegal actions in the Marine Special Conservation Zones (ZECs) of Gran Canaria and Tenerife, during the state of emergency decreed by the Central government as a result of COVID-19.

The minister for ecology, José Antonio Valbuena, explained that “during the confinement, the land surveillance service of the marine ZECs of Gran Canaria and Tenerife has maintained its professional activity, reinforcing the work of the State Security Corps for the compliance with the established measures, and to control possible cases of illegal fishing and shellfishing, among other infractions ”.

These monitoring tasks of the marine ZECs in the Archipelago are coordinated by the Biodiversity Service of the aforementioned regional Ministry, through the gamekeepers of the public company Tragsatec.
“Of the actions carried out, two resulted in a complaint for serious non-compliance, while the rest were resolved with actions or warnings for non-compliance,” Valbuena clarified. Violations detected by the ground surveillance service have included unauthorized camping, citizens walking along the coast, rod and reel fishing and illegal shellfishing or pleasure boats anchored in bathing areas.
Of the total registered infractions, 30 correspond to the ZEC of Tenerife and 16 to the ZEC of Gran Canaria and took place between March 18 and April 19.
The Special Conservation Zones are areas of great environmental interest for the protection of diversity and have been designated by the member states of the European Union (EU) to integrate within the Natura 2000 Network.


Community: Motor Grande dog pound has empty cages because of volunteers

These are difficult times for everyone. The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting all of us, whether you are taking care of our elderly family members, looking in on neighbours, those financially less fortunate and those who can’t take care of themselves. For some it is time to see that it is truly when community comes together that magic can happen.
The municipal dog pound of Mogán, located in Motor Grande at the back of  Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria is largely dependent of volunteers who come to visit and walk the dogs at the facility.
And when the news came out that the shelter was going to temporarily close its doors, leaving the dogs in their cages pretty much 24/7 the volunteers decided, as well as others who offered, to take the animals in to foster care. To all without exceptions, leaving it completely empty.
A huge congratulations for all those that worked hard to make this happen and for those that took a best friend home to foster.

It’s a dream for many volunteers… No dogs in the kennel!
It’s a dream for many volunteers… No dogs in the kennel!
Posted by TheCanary.TV on Saturday, March 21, 2020


Maspalomas Parque Sur Pet Fair

Open to all ages and types of animals, from 11:00 in the morning this coming Saturday and Sunday, with numerous activities to enjoy the 4th annual Pets Fair “Feria Mascotas” is being held in the Parque Sur de Maspalomas.
Good forecasts in terms of public participation, animal attendance and numerous activities, seem to set this weekend, Saturday 19 and Sunday, 20, as a great day for animal lovers to get out into the park with their favourite furry friends from 11:00 in the morning until the late, for the fourth edition of the Maspalomas Pet Fair, which has proved to be a popular annual addition to events held at the Urban Park of the South, not far from the tourist beaches of Maspalomas.
With more  people and pets attending every year, a fun day in Maspalomas is planned filled with awareness and scheduled activities, and was presented this week by the mayor of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Concepción Narváez, “Open to all ages and pets of all kinds, where aspects such as nutrition, a children’s parade with animals collected at the municipal shelter which may be adopted, an the novelty of a pool and foam party among other events, ”said the mayor.
Over the two days of this event, sponsored and organised by the pet food company Belcando, there will be exhibitions, parades, training, workshops, competitions, exhibitions, a gastronomic area, a children’s area, entertainment, information campaigns and recreational activities around the pool and races such as the Belcando pool party and the Belcando dog race, say the organizers. There will also be participation of a group from the Spanish Marine Corps, as well as planned games highlighting responsible pet ownership, Saturday’s beauty contest, an exhibition of native breeds and other aspects covered by local television channels and social networks.
San Bartolomé de Tirajana is the sixth municipality of the Canary Islands in terms of pet ownership in the Canary Islands, the mayor, Concepción Narváez, pointed out “And, hence the importance of this fair and the need to improve the municipal shelter with the conditions that the government group wants,” she added, while offering some interesting data related to the census of animals in the tourist town.

Pet census of the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana




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About a thousand King snakes already captured this year on Gran Canaria

The Canary Islands Government Ministry for Ecological Transition, the fight against Climate Change and for Territorial Planning, in collaboration with the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, have captured about a thousand California King snakes (Lampropeltis californiae) on the island already in 2019 as part of the targetted control program against this invasive species.
The counsellor responsible, José Antonio Valbuena, stressed that this project has accumulated about 7,000 catches since 2009 and pointed out that this species, despite not being poisonous, poses a serious danger to biodiversity and the Gran Canaria ecosystem. The program has developed throughout the year, although its period of greatest activity has been centred between the months of February and September due to activity of this snake and the numbers of sightings.
By location, the snake populations are focused mainly around four nuclei. The most affected area is between the neighbourhoods of La Solana (Telde) and San Roque (Valsequillo), while the rest of the sigtings have been detected in Montaña de Amagro (Gáldar), Montaña La Data (San Bartolomé de Tirajana) and Barranco de Guiniguada (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria).
If you come across of this type of snake,  contact the control program team through the main emergency number 112, or via mobile phone numbers 608 098 296 and 645 041 733 or through the free mobile application “Lampropeltis”.
The California royal snake (Lampropeltis californiae), native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, is included in the Spanish Catalogue of Invasive Exotic Species, so it is prohibited to possess, transport, traffic and trade in live specimens, as they are a species that can survive in the wild and/or reproduce.