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Natural Mallorca: Cabrera

The eagles have landed

cabrera castle

Back in 1991 the small island of Cabrera, its archipelago and the surrounding waters were declared a national park by the authorities with the aim of protecting its terrestrial and maritime flora and fauna and the results have been extremely successful.

Naturalists at the Agriculture, Fishing and Environmental council have just revealed that the Aguila Pescadora, also known as the Sea Hawk, Fishing Eagle or Osprey, has established itself so well on Cabrera, that the island now has the largest density of the bird of prey in the Mediterranean.

Back in 1991, there was only one nesting pair of Ospreys on Cabrera, now there are seven, thanks to the strict controls on the numbers of visitors and what they can do. To put this figure into perspective, 7 pairs on a tiny island is incredible when you realise that there are only 60 pairs in the whole of Spain.

If you didn't know already, Cabrera is some way of the south east tip of Mallorca and can only be reached by organised cruises or private boat. It has a rich history and was considered strategically important enough to merit its own castle – which is still there – and be captured by the famous, or is that infamous, Barbarossa, admiral of the Ottoman fleet!

As I said, visits to the island are strictly controlled, though guided and self guided tours are available with a long list of guidelines to preserve the natural state of the national park. However, if you wanted to see an osprey, the ornithologists who ring and study them, say that they are frequently seen in and around the Bay of Palma so keep your eyes and your binoculars peeled.

Photo Credits: Wikimedia

Cabrera LANOEL

Osprey Peter Wallack