Wildfires threaten Canary Islands wildlife

This is a video of a Canary islands blue chaffinch.

From BirdLife:

Wild fires threaten biodiversity hotspot on Canary Islands

Wed, Aug 15, 2012

Whilst the wild fires in the Teno Rural Park on Tenerife have been stabilised, the Garajonay National Park in La Gomera, Canary Islands, is still in flames. These fires

Wildfires in themselves are natural disasters.

However, like other natural disasters, they become much worse by human economic, social and political causes. In Texas and elsewhere in the USA, cuts in the fire services by conservative politicians have made wildfires worse. Austerity policies in Greece have the same effect. And I would not be surprised at all if the Rajoy government’s austerity in Spain has contributed to the fire disasters in the Canary islands and elsewhere. As Mr Rajoy prefers spending money on his “bankster” friends, on the royal family, and on wars.

pose a serious hazard to people, their property and livelihoods and affect key sectors including agriculture, livestock and tourism. The forest of La Gomera is an important pillar in the local economy due to tourism (especially nature tourism).

SEO/BirdLife, (Spanish Partner) is concerned about the serious environmental damage caused by the fires in Garajonay National Park – one of Europe’s biodiversity hotspots.

The fires have already destroyed more than 700 ha of the National Park and are still spreading, which could endanger some populations of species that are unique to the island. The park has the largest continuous expanse of laurel forest on the Canary Islands, located in the central area of La Gomera. Other habitats include heath, scrub and exotic coniferous woodland.

In the Teno Rural Park, located in the northwest of Tenerife, the fires have been intensive but seem to be under control for now. The habitat in this protected area is one of the best preserved laurel forests in the archipelago.

The National Parks are strongholds for typical laurel forest bird species, such as the Dark- and Light- tailed Laurel Pigeon Columba bollii and C. junoniae respectively, which are both endemic to the Canary Islands. Smaller Canary Island species like the Island Canary Serinus canaria, and on Tenerife the Blue Chaffinch Fringilla teydea, may also be affected.

The bird species richness and uniqueness means these areas have been declared Special Protection Areas for Birds (SPAs) by the Spanish government and the European Union and are inventoried as Important Bird Areas (IBAs) by SEO/BirdLife.

SEO/BirdLife expresses sympathy to the victims and gratitude to all the people and institutions working to extinguish the fires on the Canary Islands.


USA: Severe weather conditions led to a string of massive wildfires late last week, primarily in the Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, all of which are adjacent to the Los Angeles area. Strong winds, low humidity, high temperatures and a build-up of old vegetation resulted in the scorching of over 30,000 acres of land: here.

13 thoughts on “Wildfires threaten Canary Islands wildlife

  1. Thousands forced out by wildfires

    SPAIN: Over 4,000 people were evacuated from their houses today as a wildfire being spread by strong winds has rapidly expanded through hills around the southern tourist city of Marbella.

    The fire started early yesterday outside the town of Coin. Nearly all residents of the nearby town of Ojen were evacuated and given shelter in Marbella.

    Firefighters were working to contain the blaze as it continued to spread towards Marbella itself.



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