Lanzarote Wildlife

Lanzarote Wildlife

The proximity to the African continent is This is reflected in the faunal population of the island of Lanzarote more intensely than in the western islands of the archipelago, especially in relation to invertebrates.

Birds are protagonists in the characteristic fauna of Lanzarote, only taking into account those that nest permanently on the island, the number of thirty different species is reached.

The fish fauna is also notable for its variety and richness. Special mention should be made of the blind albino crabs that have their habitat in the inner lagoon of the Jameos del Agua and that have given Lanzarote so much fame, since it is a unique species in the world.

Vertebrates in Lanzarote

Despite the fact that among the vertebrates the most represented group on the island are birds, there are two species of reptiles, both endemic, which should be mentioned due to their importance:

In Lanzarote there are 34 species of nesting birds, apart from the migratory birds that visit the island. The Canarian Houbara (Chlamydotis undulata fuerteventurae) stands out among the nesting ones, being this one. a species endemic to Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, and half of its population being found on the latter island. Other species present in this peculiar habitat are the runner (Corsorius curspr) and the alcavarán (Burhinus oedicnemus).

The greatest ornithological attraction is found in the Chinijo Archipelago Natural Park, which is a ZEPA zone (Special Protection Zone for Birds). The marine birds stand out, of which a total of seven species inhabit; Due to its abundance, we must mention the Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea), which maintains the largest colony in the entire national territory in Alegranza, with some 8,000 breeding pairs.

Because of its rarity, we must mention the small breeding nucleus of the Bald-breasted Warbler (Pelagodroma marina) in Montaña Clara, which represents the only breeding point a of the entire archipelago. Important contingents of the Common Storm-Peter (Hydrobates pelagicus), Bulwer's Petrel (Bulweria bulwerii) and Paíñ The Madeiran (Oceanodroma castro), as well as various birds of prey, such as the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), in addition to important numbers of the Barbary Falcon (Falco pelegrinoides), and the entire insular population, about 10 pairs, of the Eleanor's Falcon (Falco eleonorae), a globally threatened species.

There are other areas of great ornithological interest such as: the Timanfaya National Park, the Ajaches Massif, the Rubicón plains, of great importance for the Houbara Houbara Canary and the Corredor, and the Barranco of Teneguime, where the Owl (Tyto alba) and the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) nest.

Most of the island's mammals are introduced with the exception of the Canary Shrew (Crocidura canariensis). Despite being widely distributed throughout the island territory, the largest population is concentrated in Montaña Clara, due to the absence of the House Mouse (Mus musculus), a small mammal that represents a serious competitor for the shrew.

In Lanzarote, agricultural land par excellence, there are many farm and farm animals such as goats, donkeys, chickens, roosters and sheep. As for the mammals, the donkey and the camel are the main representatives. Both were used in field tasks to transport or drag the plow. The abundance of partridges and wild rabbits allow hunting.

Invertebrates in Lanzarote

241 invertebrates have been described, highlighting the presence of unique species in the Canary archipelago and invertebrate populations located at an unusual depth in the rest of the islands. Islands.

The groups that most stand out in the terrestrial entomological fauna of Lanzarote are insects and arachnids. The first of these, the most numerous, is made up of endless endemic species, in many cases shared with Fuerteventura, which constitute a faithful paradigm of the evolution that these invertebrates have experienced on the island.< /p>

Furthermore, given its proximity to the African continent, it is in the block of eastern islands where the clearest North African influences appear, which also characterize the Canarian entomofauna. Even today we are witnessing remarkable cases that illustrate one of the ways in which perform island settlement. We only have to mention the recent spontaneous introduction of the hymenopteran Delta dimidiatipenne (Saussure, 1852), a species of remarkable size and great flight capacity that in its worldwide distribution extends from the north of Áacute Africa to India, and which was found for the first time in 1990 on the island of Fuerteventura, later passing to Lanzarote and, finally, to Gran Canaria.

It is in the Canarian entomofauna that there is a greater dispersion in the bibliography referring to the Canary Islands, a fact that ultimately reflects the breadth of biodiversity, still to be discovered, that must be hidden on this island of landscapes and unique microenvironments.

Marine fauna in Lanzarote

Lanzarote is the northernmost island of the archipelago and to the north of it are, as we have seen, the islets and eastern rocks (La Graciosa, Alegranza, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del West or Hell), which are home to areas where platforms of great interest to marine fauna are developed.

In this area there is a notable presence of species that may not be found in the rest of the Canary Islands or that are more frequent in these islets, since here they are more common. They find a refuge of special interest. 241 invertebrates have been described, highlighting the presence of unique species in the Canary archipelago and populations of invertebrates located at an unusual depth in the rest of the Islands.

In the 259 species of fish, many rare species are observed in the rest of the Canary archipelago and some endemisms of the caboso family. The populations of Abades (Mycteroperca fusca), groupers (Serranus atricauda) and rosemary (Centrolabrns trutta) stand out for their importance. They are frequent in these seabeds, even large sizes can be observed. Also, depending on the bottom and the area, specimens of old (Sparisoma cretense), jack mackerel (Pseudocaranx dentex), as well as snails stand out. as several species of wrasses and some important swimmers such as amberjacks (Seriola dumerili) and bicudas (Sphyraena viridensis), groupers (Epinephelus marginatus), populations of black fulas (Abudefduf luridus))  and alfonsitos (Apogon imberbis) to name a few.

In the open sea we can also find 6 of the 7 species of sea turtles existing in the world, all of them in danger of extinction, as is the case of the loggerhead and leatherback turtles. The waters of Lanzarote are also part of the migratory or feeding routes of groups of marine mammals (27 cetaceans and one pinniped): the bottlenose, striped and common dolphins, the gray pilot whales and tropical, the orca, the pygmy sperm whale, the minke whale, the Cuvier's beaked whale and the monk seal, which had its last populations on the islet of Alegranza until the end of the 1960s.


In the tidal zone, where the marine and terrestrial environments merge, we find a multitude of invertebrates; Among the latter, several species of limpets can be seen: the Canarian endemism known as the black limpet, the white limpet and the curvina limpet. Also several species of burgados and crabs, such as the old bait.

On the other hand, the cornices, overhangs and caves present in the area show a great diversity of sessile invertebrates, especially sponges, anthozoans and bryozoans that are in a state of minor deterioration than in other areas of the islands.

Endangered Species

Species, endé ;micas or not, of vertebrate fauna with a higher degree of threat on the island of Lanzarote.

All are endangered species (E) according to the category established by the UJCN

Species, endemic or not, of vertebrate fauna with the highest degree of threat on the island of Lanzarote.

Among the most threatened marine invertebrates we can mention the black coral, the orange coral, the gorgonians, the antennae lobster, the Canarian lobster and the Canarian clam