Punta de Teno is the westernmost corner of Tenerife, a very intersting place that is difficult to access. It is separated from other parts of the island by the Teno Mountains and the colossal cliffs named Acantilados de Los Gigantes. Some extremely rare species found refuge at these places, namely the Tenerife Speckled Lizard (that was only described in 1996) and the plants Limonium fruticans and Teline salsoloides, extinct from other parts of the island. Location: Punta de Teno. Date: 27.03.2013.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The Teno Massif or Teno Mountains form the westernmost part of Tenerife. The mountains here are often covered in clouds and they are sparsely populated. The local vegetation is still quite natural but there are many introduced species here also. We traveled through the mountains and stopped at Masca, a tiny village that was not accessible on road until the 1960's. Location: Teno Alto. Date: 18.03.2013.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Gennargentu Mountains, Sardinia (Gennargentu-Gebirge, Sardinien) (Gennargentu-hegység, Szardínia) 05.2013.
The last place we visited on Sardinia was Gola di su Gorroppu, one of the largest canyons in Europe. It is located in the Gennargentu Mountains that also constitute a national park (Parco Nazionale del Golfo di Orosei e del Gennargentu). The worlds rarest plant, the Nuragica Columbine is only known from this place, where it grows on the cliffs. Location: Gola di su Gorroppu. Date: 03.05.2013.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The Caldera of Teide, Tenerife (Caldera des Teide, Teneriffa) (A Teide kalderája, Tenerife) 03.2013.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
We traveled to the Baratz Lake and the nearby coastal area called Porto Ferro in the Sassari Province of Sardinia. The area had such a high diversity of landscapes, plants and animals that we spent the whole day here. The coast of Porto Ferro is situated at the northern edge of the Capo Caccia/ Isola Piana Marine Protected Area and its 2 km long beach is guarded by 3 towers built in the 17th century. Location: Porto Ferro. Date: 02.05.2013.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
We traveled to Vilaflor, the highest village on Tenerife, to take a hike to the Moon Landscape, the Paisaje Lunar. This place got its name from formations of tuff, made of many layers of volcanic ash pressed together. Erosion has a constant effect on the tuff, but there where stones blocked the rain, it was protected, resulting in the formation of tall pillars - a fascinating sight. Location: Paisaje Lunar. Date: 23.03.2013.
Monday, November 25, 2013
We traveled to the Baratz Lake and the nearby coastal area called Porto Ferro in the Sassari Province of Sardinia. The area had such a high diversity of landscapes, plants and animals that we spent the whole day here. First, we hiked around the lake and in the coastal pine forest. Location: Lago Baratz. Date: 02.05.2013.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Corona Forestal and Las Lagunetas, Tenerife (Corona Forestal und Las Lagunetas, Teneriffa) (Corona Forestal és Las Lagunetas, Tenerife) 03.2013.
The vulcano of Teide undoubtedly dominates the landscape of Tenerife. The highest point of the island is surrounded by a forest belt that is lush and green on the northern side and arid on the southern. The area is a nature park called Parque natural de la Corona Forestal. An adjacent mountain range that stretches towards northeast is the Pedro Gil with protected forests such as the dense Las Lagunetas that is always covered by clouds. Location: Corona Forestal and Las Lagunetas. Date: 20.03.2013.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
The islands of the Maddalena Archipelago are located north-east of Sardinia and are only accessible by boat. There are some pleasant, small villages here but most of the archipelago is in the territory of a national park named Parco nazionale dell'Arcipelago di La Maddalena. Crystal clear waters, beaches with pink sand, granite coastlines formed by the wind and the sea, small forests and interesting flora and fauna make this place fabulous. Place: Caprera Island. Date: 01.05.2013.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
The Badland (Malpaís) of Güímar is a special nature reserve on the coast of Tenerife, near the town of Güímar. It is known from its incredible landscape with vulcanic cones, basaltic lava flows and a vegetation extremely adapted for dry and hot conditions - a one-of-a-kind place indeed. Location: Reserva natural especial del Malpaís de Güímar. Date: 19.03.2013.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Province of Oristano, Sardinia (Provinz Oristano, Sardinien) (Oristano provincia, Szardínia) 04.2013.
Monday, November 4, 2013
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Silica Ice Cave, Slovak Karst, Slovakia (Silica-Eishöhle, Slowakischer Karst, Slowakei) (Szilicei-jégbarlang, Szlovák-karszt, Szlovákia) 10.2013.
During our trip to the Slovak Karst, we visited the Silica Ice Cave (that got its name from the nearby village, not from the chemical compound) that lies at 503 m a.s.l., making it the lowest-lying ice cave in the temperate climate zone. We did not enter the protected cave, but made some photos outside. Location: Silica. Date: 23.10.2013.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Domica Cave, Slovak Karst, Slovakia (Domica-Höhle, Slowakischer Karst, Slowakei) (Domica-barlang, Szlovák-karszt, Szlovákia) 10.2013.
We took a short trip to the Slovak Karst National Park (a world heritage site together with the Aggtelek Karst) this autumn with a permit to take photos of the local cave fauna. We managed to find many interesting arthropods in two segments of the Domica cave - a dry one open for tourists, the another closed, with a brook. Location: Domica Cave. Date: 23.10.2013.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Létrási Cave, Bükk Mountains, Hungary (Létrási-Höhle, Bükk-Gebirge, Ungarn) (Létrási-vizesbarlang, Bükk-hegység, Magyarország)
Friday, October 11, 2013
Aguamansa, Corona Forestal, Tenerife (Aguamansa, Corona Forestal, Teneriffa) (Aguamansa, Corona Forestal, Tenerife) 03.2013.
Aguamansa is one of the best places in for hiking in the northern part of Tenerife. The area is part of the Forest Crown of the Teide (Parque natural de la Corona Forestal) and lies between 1000-1200 m above sea level. The forests here often get covered by the thick clouds of the Atlantic. The vegetation is dominated by Canary Pine and heath. Location: Aguamansa. Date: 20.03.2013.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Last week we traveled to the small village of Kács in the southern part of the Bükk Mountains. This village is known for its historical buildings and small lukewarm thermal springs. These springs and the Kács Brook are the only remaining habitats of the Black Nerite Snail (Theodoxus prevostianus) in Hungary. This primitive snail was once a bit more common in the Carpathian Basin, however, nowadays it is only found in 3 other locations (in Austria and Slovenia) and nowhere else on the planet.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
The Anaga Peninsula is the gratest place on Tenerife to get away from mass tourism and to find natural laurisilva forests which once covered much of the island. The highest point of the Anaga Mountain Range (Macizo de Anaga) is just over 1000 m, which doesn't count as high on the island, but the peaks are really steep and the valleys are small. This has caused the peninsula to be sparsely populated and to retain its natural beauty.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Sardinia: Province of Sassari II. (Sardinien: Provinz Sassari II.) (Szardínia: Sassari povincia II.) 04.2013.
The fauna of Sardinia is very interesting: many of the Mediterranean's widespread species are found here, as well as numerous endemic ones unique to the island. The landscape is very diverse with many different habitats, all with a characteristic fauna. First I present some photos of the animals of the Sassari province that was shown in the last post.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Last week I visited the municipality of Tarcal in the UNESCO area of the Tokaj Wine Region in North-Hungary. The area is famous for its vineries, the protected wetland habitats along the Bodrog and Tisia rivers, and the beautiful mountains. The protected areas are part of the Tokaj-Bodrogzug Landscape Protection Area and partly also the Ramsar Areas.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Tenerife, the 'Island of Eternal Spring' has been inhabited since at least a thousand years and many exotic plant species have been brought here from all around the world. These are mostly found in the cities, where they regularly escape from the gardens, but many species also threaten the indigenous flora of the beautiful natural habitats of the island. Of course, there are many non-native animals as well.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Sardinia: Province of Sassari I. (Sardinien: Provinz Sassari I.) (Szardínia: Sassari povincia I.) 04.2013.
In the end of April, we travelled to the beautiful island of Sardinia with a group of arachnology-enthusiasts. We stayed in the province of Sassari in the North-West of the island on the kind invitation of Salvatore Canu and visited numerous places and many different habitats. On the first day, we took a short trip to Monte Forte. The whole Sardinian trip report of the german Spinnen-Forum can be found here.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Last weekend I traveled to Tokaj in North-East Hungary to the confluence of the rivers Bodrog and Tisza to photograph a famous natural phenomenon, the swarming of Tisza Mayflies (Palingenia longicauda) also called the 'Blooming of the Tisza'. Every year, the swarming period lasts only 2 or 3 days and each swarming is only some hours long in the late afternoon. But near Tokaj, there are two swarmings each year, as the shallower Bodrog river becomes warm sooner than the Tisza, resulting in an earlier swarm of its mayfly population. I took photos during the second day of the swarming at the Bodrog.
Friday, May 31, 2013
Tenerife is the largest of the 7 main Canary Islands, characterised by its main volcano, the Teide (3718 m). With my wife, we spent almost 2 weeks here and on the island of La Gomera in March. This time of the year is good to catch many of the islands endemic plants in flowering period. The plant and animal life on the Canary Islands are incredible, a very high proportion of the species are endemics and and even the types of plant communities are very special, found nowhere else on Earth but on other Macaronesian Islands. Tenerife, due the presence of the Teide, has an astonishing vertical zonation and many of its areas are protected. First, I show photos of the biggest valley, the Orotava Valley, which faces the Atlantic Ocean on the north of the island.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Biogradska Gora National Park, Montenegro (Nationalpark Biogradska Gora, Montenegro) (Biogradska Gora Nemzeti Park, Montenegró) 09.2012.
As we travelled through Montenegro, we stopped for a night in the Biogradska Gora National Park in the northern, mountainous region of the country. It was raining the whole day long, so we just set up our tents and spent the whole night listening to the roaring of local brown bears. Taking photos was not possible, than, however, one interesting arthropod species turned out in the tents in great numbers: the orange harvestman Opilio ruzickai.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
On the way back from Albania in September 2012, we stopped on the Bojana Island (Ada Bojana) for a day, which is located at the Montenegrin side of the boarder river of the same name. There are sandy coasts, coastal forests, salt swamps and a large number of interesting reptiles on this small island.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Sarandë District, Albania III. (Kreis Sarandë, Albanien III.) (Sarandë járás, Albánia III.) 09.2012.
We spent our last days in Albania between the villages of Kulluricë and Kodër. The landscape dominated by only 100-300 m high mounds is spectacular (and there is a nice view on the hills of Corfu), the vegetation was diverse even in the autumn and we managed to find many reptiles and arthropods here.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Back in 2008 I visited the lake Kis-Balaton, located some kilometres west from the lake Balaton, the largest lake of Central Europe. Once the two lakes were connected, than the Kis-Balaton lost much of its surface as the local rivers were intensively regulated and the marshlands were drained. In the 1970s, however, the lake's importance in nature conservation was realised and the marshland habitat was restored where it was possible. Nowadays, the area is part of the Balaton Uplands National Park and only a part of it is open for tourists due to birdlife conservation reasons.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
We spent a day in the vicinity of Shalës in South-Albania, camping on the shore of a small river between 500-700 m high hills, covered with maquis shrublands. The area is used by goat herders, who roam around with the herd and their dogs on the steep hills - the landscape is just idyllic. Of course the local fauna offers some interesting discoveries as well.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
In the spring of 2009 we visited the Bakony mountains in West-Hungary, to take photos of the Hungarian subspecies of the Mountain Cowslip (or Bear's Ear), an ice age relict plant known only from a few localities in the country. We also visited the Yew Forest of Szentgál, the second largest yew forest of Europe.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
We spent the second half of our Albanian field trip in the southernmost part of the land. We drove to Sarandë and from there through the Butrint National Park (Parku Kombëtar i Butrintit), which is famous for its archeological sites of different eras. First, we stopped near Shkallë to search for reptiles. This landscape differs greatly from the mountainous, forested areas we visited earlier during the trip. It is covered by maquis shrublands and of course the fauna is also different.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Caving in Bükk mountains, Hungary (Höhlenklettern im Bükk-Gebirge, Ungarn) (Barlangászás a Bükk-hegységben, Magyarország) 03.2013.
We visited a cave in the Bükk National Park with a guided tour. Many karst caves are known in the Bükk mountains and some of them are open to tourists. The one we visited is about 300 metres long and it has an interesting arthropod fauna.
Friday, March 8, 2013
Today, we traveled to the southwestern part of the Nyírség, a region of the Great Hungarian Plain. The area we visited was once covered with sandy grasslands and patches of lowland oak forest, nowadays it is partly used by the agriculture, partly covered with locust tree forests. A relict of the original vegetation, the Spring Meadow Saffron has still survived in some areas - now it is strictly protected and its habitats are managed by the Hajdúság Landscape Protection Area.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Last October, I had the opportunity to join a group of mammalologists who study the lesser mole rats of the Carpathian Basin. In the Hajdúság region in East-Hungary (traditional county of the Hajdús) and in the Transylvanian Plain in Romania, an endemic (sub)species of mole rats is found: Nannospalax (leucodon) transsylvanicus. This blind rodent was once widespread, now only relict populations remain - it is strictly protected now. They spend their entire life underground, digging an extensive system of branched burrows and feeding mostly on roots. For studying the population in a military-owned area near Hajdúhadház, 2 specimens were dug out, examined and released back.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Syri i Kaltër, or the Blue Eye is a karst spring and lake in the Mali i Gjerë mountains near Sarandë in the Southern part of Albania. It is a popular tourist attraction: clear blue water bubbles forth from a more than fifty-metre-deep pool under great pressure. The round shape of this pool gave the place its name.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Fir of Hotova-Dangell National Park, Albania (Nationalpark Tannenwald von Hotova-Dangell, Albanien) (Hotova-Dangell Fenyvese Nemzeti Park, Albánia) 09.2012.
We visited the termal ponds of Ura ë Kadiut in the Fir of Hotova-Dangell National Park (Parku Kombëtar Bredhi i Hotovës-Dangelli) and spent two days here. The rapid-flowing river, Lëngarica that flows through the national park created a valley with sludgy rift and the thermal springs are found on the sides of this valley. They are very popular among tourists and local people as well. Some of the thermal springs have dense vegetation, while others are simple rock pools. The chemical composition of the thermal waters varies greatly. After heavy rains, the river even covers some of the thermal pools.
Friday, February 22, 2013
The second area we visited in Albania was the Mount Gramoz (Gramos in Greek). This mountain is at the border of Albania and Greece and with its 2520 metres height, it is a prominent sight. We arrived in the late afternoon to a small village not even present on our maps: Kreshove. We camped here at 1200 m a.s.l. In the morning, we climbed up to the Gramoz and found a wonderous landscape with many interesting plants and animals.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Near Fir of Drenove National Park, Albania (Neben Nationalpark Tannenwald von Drenove, Albanien) (A Drenove Fenyvese Nemzeti Park mellett, Albánia) 09.2012.
In September of 2012 I had the opportunity to take part in a herpetological research trip in Albania organised by the Herpetological Group of the University of Debrecen. We drove from South Hungary all the way down in one day to Korçë in the middle of the country. Here we found a camp site near the village of Boboshticë, at 1000 m above sea level (during the whole 10-day-long trip we camped in the wilderness). Next morning, we started to search through the area near Boboshticë, than, after visiting the famous bazaar of Korçë, we drove up the incredibly steep serpentine road to the beautiful little village of Dardhë, located on the Dardhë Scenic Route. Both areas that we visited are located near the National Park called Parku Kombëtar Bredhi i Drenovës (Fir of Drenove). This park has untouched fir forests and steep slopes with mediterranean bush vegetation.
Monday, February 4, 2013
Thursday, January 31, 2013
I always try to keep an eye of the arthropod fauna in cities - sometimes I find the most peculiar species in parks or gardens. This summer I focused on a small park located between two buildings of the University of Debrecen. This park is only 150 by 120 metres big (less than 2.5 acres) and planted with old Pedunculate Oaks. These old trees provide a valuable habitat for many kinds of insects. Almost all species shown here were found there.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Peaks of the High Tauern II., Austria (Gipfeln der Hohen Tauern II., Österreich) (A Hohe Tauern csúcsai II., Ausztria) 06.2012.
The animals of the alpine zone in the High Tauern National Park are true survivors, absolutely adapted to the cold climate and very short summer with cool nights. Some arthropods found in the highest zones are extremely fit to the harsh environment and are not found below 2000 meters. Many of them require several years to reach maturity because they spend most of the year in hibernation. Other species are more generalistic and are found also below the tree line.