Ferrets on La Palma

A pet ferret being blessed in Fuencaliente, La Palma, Canary Islands
A pet ferret being blessed in at the church in Fuencaliente

Ferrets are a common pet here. They’re mostly used for hunting wild rabbits, which are plentiful. The trouble is that occasionally they escape. Since there are plenty of wild rabbits, they do rather well, so we also have a population of wild ferrets. In fact, it’s just been confirmed that La Palma is the island with the highest number of wild ferrets in the Canaries. The scientists say that, “the effect of wild ferrets on the native fauna of the island is currently unknown” but it’s unlikely to be good. We have some rare bird species which nest on the ground, like the laurel pigeon (Columba junoniae) and the Eurasian woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) which would logically be vulnerable.

A traditional ferret holder in Barlovento craft fair, La Palma island
A traditional ferret holder in Barlovento craft fair

Other news: the east of La Palma is on orange weather alert until 1 pm due to strong gusts of wind.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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