Guide of the ornithological collection of the Regional Museum

A- Forest:

 

Holm oak and pine groves are the chosen habitats of a number of bird species that are virtually exclusive to this terrain, such as the firecrest, the hawfinch and the chaffinch. Yet countless other birds typically seen in scrubland areas and tree groves are also found here. Unfortunately, today the tree-covered woodland surface of the Llevant Peninsula is not very extensive, due to the vast forest fires endured here in the past. It is up to us all to contribute to the recovery of our forests.

 

B- Areas settled by humans:

 

Many bird species have managed to adapt to and at the same time benefit from human activity. City centres offer good protection against predators, and agricultural areas provide a substantial supply of food. Some species, such as bank swallows, swifts and sparrows, are commonly found in the towns, while many others (goldfinches, corn buntings, curlews, white wagtails, and others) inhabit gardens, bramble patches, tree groves and sown fields. Many of these birds feed on insects or rodents, making them helpful allies for farmers, despite their high sensitivity to the use of pesticides.

 

C- The sea:

 

The sea and the coastline are inhabited by a number of bird species that are very well adpated to life in this environment. Most of them are strictly aquatic birds that feed on fish and other sea-dwelling animals, as is the case of the cormorant, the puffin and the gannet. Other birds, such as the shearwater, only come to the land to breed. Seagulls, on the other hand, are also frequently seen far from the coast feeding on plants, land animals and even rubbish. The Llevant Peninsula boasts large expenses of well-conserved coastline that serve as the ideal reguge for countless aquatic birds.

 

D- Scrublands:

 

Scrublands are shrub vegetations communities with a great deal of plant diversity that can also accommodate pine groves of varying densities. Many of the plants that grow here bear flowers and fruits that attract insects and birds, making this a natural ecosystem with a paricularly diverse animal population. Some birds, such as warblers, can be found here year round, whilst others (thrushes, robins, ets.) are usually sighted here in the winter. The strawberry tree, wild olive, pine and holm oak groves all bear the striking impact of the forest fires that swept through our region in the past.

 

E- Wetlands:

 

The more or less constant presence of fresh and salt water enables the existence of plant and animal communities that are typical of and exclusive to wetland areas. As to the birds, species such as the coot and the moorhen live here year-round, whilst others use these areas as feeding and resting grounds during the winter or along their migratory paths. The most important wetland areas of our region are the streams of Na Borges and Canyamel.

 

F- The Mountain:

 

A large part of the Llevant Peninsula consists of mountain scrubland, with its prevalent carpet of Mauritanian grass. The variety of bird species found here es somewhat limited, given the rather scarce availability of food. All the same, there are some birds, such as the crested lark, the stonechat and the blue rock thrush, that are very typical here. Moreover, the cliffs of this area make this the ideal nesting ground for large birds of prey such as falcons and sparrow hawks, and for scavengers like the raven and the owl.

 

G- The Pharmacist Llorenç Garcías Font:

 

Llorenç Garcías Font, the pharmacist Pujamunt, as he was popularly known, was born in Artà in 1885. The son of a well-to-do family, he earned his degree in Pharmacy at the University of Barcelona in 1906. Early on, while still in Barcelona, he began to show the signs of his scientific affinity, taking part in the foundation of the Catlan Institution of Natural History, which he was an honorary member of until his death in 1975.

Llorenç Garcías spent his entire professional career working as a pharmacist in Artà, in an essentially rural environment. Far removed from the major scientific institutions, material difficulties would not stand in the way of his studies of Majorca's nature, and particularly his botanical research of the flora of the Balearic Islands, which he pursued for more than seventy years. He published numerous articles in Catalan in the Bolletí de la Societat d'Història Natural de les Balears, an institution that he founded himself, as well as in the Bulletí de la Institució Catalana d'Història Natural. He also compiled an herbarium of approximately 1100 plants, and discovered a new species, which he catalogued under the name Romuela assumptionis.

Yet his pursuits were not limited to the natural world alone, as he was also actively involved in the local culture and politics. As a defender of the Majorcan language and culure, his journalistic work was extremely valuable. He was an assiduous contributor to the magazine Llevant, the bimonthly publication founded in 1816 by the Artà-born teacher Andreu Ferrer, and one of the driving forces behind the Museu Regional d'Artà.

So great was the influence of this distinguished botanist that the Secondary School of Artà officially took on his name in the early 1980s

 

Pictures:

  1. Sheet of the herbarium compiled by Mr. Garcías. Limonium majoricum is a species that is endemic to the Colònia de Sant Pere (Artà) coastline.

  2. Throughout his life, Mr. Garcías published countless scholarly articles on nature.

  3. Romuela assumptionis, a species described by the distinguished pharmacist Pujamunt.

 

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