Gran Canaria Car Hire - Flora and fauna

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There are more than 100 species of flora present in Gran Canaria that can only be found on the island and another 500 that can only be found in the archipelago, making it one of the most unique sites on the planet to study flora. Due to this startling variety of rare vegetation, Gran Canaria is to the study of flora what the Galapagos Islands are the study of fauna.

The land fauna on the island is characterised by the absence of large vertebrates and harmful species. Birds and reptiles are the most numerous land fauna species here. Among the vertebrates there is the lagarto canarión (Gran Canaria Giant Lizard) – an overwhelmingly abundant species of lizard endemic to the island – the lisa azulada, the perenquén de Boettger (Gran Canaria Gecko) and the musaraña de Osorio (Osorio shrew).

Birds are the most common fauna on the island, with 48 nesting species found on the island, some of which are endemic, such as the picapinos (hairy woodpecker), the petirrojo (European robin) and the pinzón azul (Blue Chaffinch), the last found in the Pilancones – Inagua pine forest. The canary deserves a special mention due to its symbolic relationship with the Canaries in general, and Gran Canaria in particular.

There is a great variety of marine fauna species found in Gran Canaria due to the island’s environmental diversity and geographic location. One characteristic of the marine population in Gran Canarian waters is that deep-sea species and turtles (among which the careta-careta turtle stands out) co-exist with rays, mantas, stingrays, angelfish, swordfish and large tunas; or coastal species, like sargos (sargo fish), viejas (parrot fish), salemas (salema fish), galanas, palometas, meros (groupers), cabrillas (combers), gallos or abadejos (island groupers). There is a mammal colony also found in Gran Canaria that includes dolphins, and whales.