Ten years of AEA El Bosque Animado (2007-2017)
At first we specialized in organizing natural history workshops where we could learn about the main species of flora and fauna of Andalusia, our territory, as well as their conservation issues. All from an academic point of view as much practical as possible and without losing sight of small eco-friendly gestures such as minimizing paper and plastic, recycling materials, promoting organic products for the conservation of our health and the of the Planet (offering ecological breakfasts) and the minimization of the CO2 footprint (sharing cars or using public transport). Our interest in species led us to deal more specifically with some of them through monthly bird censuses (Biodiversity of the Guadalquivir River as it passed through Córdoba), the discovery of the flora of the city of Córdoba (Educational Campaign on urban botany), the censuses of amphibians and other aquatic species and the inventory of temporary ponds (“Brankimaquis” project) and the monitoring of dragonflies, through one of the most important projects, with the creation of the Network of Observers of Dragonflies in Andalusia (ROLA). As we understand that this passion must be shared, we have organized volunteer projects over the years. With them we wanted to offer citizens ways of participating in the conservation of nature and improving their knowledge and connection. These projects and experiences have produced a large amount of information which were presented in an annual magazine (Arvícola, field notebook of the Guadalquivir river as it passes through Córdoba) and a specific bulletin on dragonflies (ROLA Bulletin), in addition to various printed materials and the development and maintenance of a very dynamic blog where you can find all the information generated from the association.
Natural history workshops
Since the beginning and until 2018, there have been 35 workshops held in the different Andalusian provinces, dedicated to the identification of species of plants, animals and mushrooms of Andalusia that have involved more than 500 teaching hours and in which they have approximately 800 people participated. Three of these workshops have been part of actions of the Andalusian Environmental Training Plan (PAFA) of the Junta de Andalucía. The groups of fauna and flora treated in this series of workshops have been: Terrestrial mammals, Marine mammals, Otters, Birds in general, Forest birds, Seabirds, Amphibians, Fish, Dragonflies, Butterflies, Mantids, Auxiliary fauna, Trees and shrubs, Vascular flora and Mushrooms.
Environmental volunteer programs in Natura 2000
… developed for the Junta de Andalucía: Lagunas del Sur de Córdoba (2017), P.N. Sierra de Hornachuelos (Córdoba) (2017), P.N. Sierra de Baza (Granada) (2017) and P.N. Sierra de Las Nieves (Malaga) (2017). Environmental volunteer camps in P.N. Sierra de Cardeña Montoro (2010-2013). They included practical activities in favor of biodiversity, such as the improvement and maintenance of habitats and facilities for public use. Our characteristic is to include – in addition to the “pick and shovel” activities – specific biodiversity monitoring actions to collect data and promote scientific culture.
Andalusian Dragonflies Recording Scheme
ROLA, a citizen science project that brings together people interested in dragonflies and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems in Andalusia. The rise in interest for odonates on a global level has favored intense scientific activity. We publish a magazine dedicated exclusively to dragonflies, the ROLA Bulletin, with content in several languages, updating an “Atlas of the dragonflies of Andalusia”. In May 2015, we organized the first Iberian Symposium on Odonatology with the participation of 70 experts. We belong to the Iberian Group of Odonatology.
Project focused on knowledge and conservation of Mediterranean temporary pools in Andalusia, a priority habitat to be conserved according to the European Habitat Directive. Biodiversity sampling of the (wonderful) fairy shrimps and amphibians. We have inventoried half a thousand temporary ponds (bodies of water that are not usually protected) in the provinces of Córdoba, Málaga, Seville and Jaén, we collaborate with the Iberian research network on temporary ponds and the European Pond Conservation Network (EPCN).
Biodiversity of the Guadalquivir River as it passes through Córdoba
Intensive monitoring of the urban stretch of the river is carried out, in collaboration with numerous naturalists from Córdoba. Special mention to the monitoring of birds, making this area one of the best studied in Andalusia, with about 5,000 samplings and 192 species sighted in the period 2007-2017 (adding 27 species previously sighted). Two other animal species have been the focus of attention of the association for being locally frequent: the Otter and the Faded pincertail, a dragonfly. The Inventory of vascular plants and the collaboration with the Río Vivo Citizen Platform cannot be omitted. The highlight of the project is the publication of the scientific and informative magazine: “Arvícola, Guadalquivir field notebook”.
Educational campaign on botany
Free introductory botany program started in 2013 with field trips (monthly at some times) and practical workshops in the laboratory. This action is aimed at an adult audience and brings nature closer to citizens through the discovery of the plant world. It aims to disseminate floristics, ecology and ethnobotany in our environment. The chronicles of the field trips make up a magnificent mini-excursion guide in the surroundings of Córdoba. A summary: «Taller de Botánica: flora de la ciudad de Córdoba y alrededores de la ciudad de Córdoba».
Sampling continental biodiversity of Andalusia
In ten years our NGO members had plenty of opportunities to participate in several collaborative studies on birds (special mention to cranes and seabirds), amphibians, terrestrial and aquatic mollusks, orthoptera, butterflies, spiders. We participate in citizen science web pages dedicated to the inventory of biodiversity in Andalusia through nature photographs and in collaborative events such as the annual Bioblitz promoted by the Cadiz Society of Natural History and the Andalusian Entomological Society.
All these activities developed positively thanks to the interest of the many individuals which have actively supported our association. We want to show our deep gratitude for this.
Fdo. Las socias y los socios Bosqueteros Animados.