22nd Apr 2023 @ 9:40 am

Desert Watch Lanzarote have observed the behaviour of the animals in El Jable and noted how they are now interacting with waste left behind by humans.

El Jable is Lanzarote’s natural desert, a unique place created by sand washed up over millennia onto Famara beach, which is blown inland creating dunes and sandy plains. In this quiet, beautiful landscape you can find birds such as the Hubara Bustard, Cream Coloured Coursers, Stone Curlews and many more, as well as unique traditional farming methods.

It’s also a fragile zone where ecologists have denounced businesses who extract sand for building, and rallying events that disturb the delicate ecosystem.


Desert Watch Lanzarote recently observed a Canary Crow piercing a beer can to try and eat a lizard that had crawled inside of it.

Association coordinator, Carmen Portella, explained that upon clearing El Jable of left behind rubbish, they found that there were numerous dead animals inside of the cans. Lizards and shrews are attracted to whatever is left inside of the can, and once they crawl inside, they find that they cannot get out again.

“They become trapped inside because the walls are smooth, and to exit from the lid would cut them”, Portella explained.


Desert Watch Lanzarote have organised regular waste collections in El Jable since 2014, during which time they have noticed that many cans have holes in them. At first, they believed that they were bullet holes from hunters.

However, after setting up motion cameras in El Jable they were able to capture a crow opening a can with its beak to look for lizards and shrews.

“It’s the Canary Crow’s speciality, you can say that they are survivalists learning to pierce the cans in order to eat”, Portella explained.

Photo: Desert Watch Lanzarote.

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