A short Story: The Ecosystem of the “Montes de Málaga” National Park

The history of the Montes of Málaga Natural Park of is a very short one; it is a very young Natural Park, which that began to run on 13 September 1930, to avoid the floods Málaga had been suffering for centuries. The work was performed under the direction of Forest Engineer José Martínez-Falero and Arregui, as a tribute to him a viewpoint was built, located in what was the country estate of Melgarejas. The Montes de Málaga Natural Park was declared as such in the Law 2/89 of July 18th (BOJA no 60, of July 27th, 1989).

Despite its youth, the Natural Park has a fairly healthy ecosystem and an interesting animal population; is one of the few enclaves where the chameleon, unfortunately endangered, lives. It has both resident birds and migratory birds that use the passage of the Strait of Gibraltar

Chameleon

Chameleon

On the farm “El Boticario” exists a Recovery Center for Endangered Species (CREA for its acronym in Spanish), specifically for griffon vultures. The vultures that are looked after here, after the recovery period are again released, but elsewhere, not in the Montes de Málaga.

Farm El Boticario Recovery Center for Endangered Species CREA

Farm “El Boticario” Recovery Center for Endangered Species (CREA)

Years ago, when the ruined houses of the “Montes of Málaga” were inhabited, the griffon vultures use to fly over the skies; an old man who I found while riding my bike in the mountains who lived there in those years told me that "... when an animal died, goats, cows or cattle, because they were old or sick, if they died near the houses, they would be dragged by the farmers to a site as far as possible, just after the griffon vultures would appear, flying in circles to feed on that fest. After anyone no longer lived in the Montes of Málaga, the sustenance of the griffon vulture disappeared and was not seen again over the Montes of Málaga. Besides the vultures, there were also many rabbits and hare on which the hunters and ranchers feed on, besides being the main food for foxes living in our mountains ... "

Abejaruco Común Merops Apiaster

Abejaruco Común “Merops Apiaster”

Squirrels, increasingly numerous and so easy to see, were introduced in this ecosystemin the 70´s, brought form Cazorla.

On July 2nd, 2013 a satellite transmitter was placed on a female Booted Eagle in the Montes de Málaga, to determine their migration route and possible points of contact within the natural park.

Regarding the wild boar, I read that it disappeared from our mountains in the eighteenth century, I guess due to the overexploitation of Montes. They reappeared in this ecosystem in the 60s, when some people had them as pets until they grew and became a problem, then they released them in the mountains, where they mate with wild pigs increasing its population.