Fauna in Fuerteventura

A short guide of what you might see on your travels around the island of Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura Chat

Previously known as the Canary Island chat, this small robin sized bird can now only be found in Fuerteventura and is classed as endangered. One of the best places to spot the Fuerteventuran chat is in Vega de Rio Palmas, at the reservoir.

An Egyptian Vulture, often seen soaring the thermals in Fuerteventura
An Egyptian Vulture, often seen soaring the thermals.
Egyptian Vulture

The largest of birds to be spotted in the Canary Islands, these magnificent birds eat mainly carrion, but are opportunistic feeders and will feed on small birds, reptiles or  mammals. The Egyptian Vulture is easy to spot, as it often flies high on thermals, with dark wing tips in contrast to its white underbelly.

Houbara Bustard

The Houbara Bustard is now only found in Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Isla de Lobos and La Graciosa within the Canary Islands. The Houbara Bustard is the animal symbol for The Parque Natural de las Dunas de Corralejo and Fuerteventura.

A Kestrel in flight in Fuerteventura
A Kestrel in flight
Kestrel

Seen all over the island, these small and adaptable hunters appear the be thriving, despite the desertification of Fuerteventura. Look-out for the distinguishable ‘hover’ whilst they hunt.

Barbary Falcon

Very similar to a Peregrine Falcon, Barbary Falcons are a treat for bird watches, but less prevalent on the island than other birds. If you get too close to the nests of these falcons, they will make a lot of noise and dive towards you.

A Barbary Ground Squirrel in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
A Barbary Ground Squirrel in Fuerteventura
Barbary Ground Squirrel (Chipmunk)

Believed to have been brought over to the island in the mid 1960’s and either released or escaped, the Barbary Squirrels have since colonised all of the island. Although they are very cute, you really shouldn’t feed them, as they are not part of the natural ecosystem.

Goats

Almost all of the goats that you will see are Cabra Majorera, a Canarian Dairy Goat. The milk collected from the goats is used to make a variety of (award winning) cheeses. The overgrazing of goats has been a contributing factor in the desertification of the island. A symbol for the island, you will see goat images on cars, t-shirts, logos, statues of goats, you name it – in fact the Capital Puerto del Rosario used to be called Port of the Goats.

Goat herd
A goat herd
Donkeys

The Majorera donkey is an an endangered breed of small domesticated donkey that is indigenous to the Canary Islands. The donkey was introduced to the islands, during the European conquest in the 15th Century, from Africa. Most of the remaining Majorera donkeys can be found in Fuerteventura. You can often see them grazing on the grass along the Jandia strip.

Perro de Presa Canaria

Also called the Canary Mastiff, this large working dog is the symbol of Gran Canaria with its head also featured on the Tropical brand of beer. The Perro de Presa Canaria has a very muscular body and was traditionally bred to work livestock. They are illegal in New Zealand and Australia.

A Canarian Podenco. A rabbit hunting dog found in Fuerteventura
A Canarian Podenco – rabbit hunting dog
Podenco Canaria

This is a Canarian hunting dog, used mainly for hunting rabbits. The dog is slender in look, similar to a greyhound. There are a number of fantastic charities in the Canaries that re-home unwanted Podenco’s all over the world. Click here for more information.