I was commissioned by Els Ports Natural Park to produce a small field guide to the fauna of this wonderful protected area in an original format: a pocket-sized, reinforced plasticized leaflet that is ideal for taking out into the field. The texts were written by the Park itself, and the design was the work of good friend Abdón Jordà. I produced the drawings and took the photograph of a fantastic spring sunrise from the top of Barranc de la Vall, with my friend Marta Gibert as an ‘extra’.
This guide has enabled me to enlarge my portfolio of drawings and deepen my knowledge of a number of animals, above all of various age classes and behavioural aspects of the best-known mammal of the area, the Spanish Ibex. I was also able to study the tracks and signs – dens and excrements – left by other mammals in the area.
The guide will be published in two bilingual editions (Catalan and English, Spanish and French) and the hope is that it will help visitors appreciate and discover one of the most important –and, paradoxically, often one of the least well provided for – reasons for visiting our protected natural areas: the ‘large’ wild animals such as the ibex that populate our mountainsides.