Spain is a country that is very rich in biological diversity. It is a crucial stop for many migratory birds, a refuge for many aquatic species, and home to numerous animals that you will not be able to find anywhere else in the world, like the Iberian lynx or the Iberian imperial eagle.
In fact, Spain is considered one of the countries from the European Union with the most biodiversity out of them all. This is partly because of its geographical position, but things like its geological diversity, climate variabilities, and the existence of islands, among others, are also taken into account.
The previously mentioned climate variabilities within the Spanish territory allow so many different species to coexist in this beautiful country, some of them rare or a little uncommon, so here I have compiled a list of the strangest animals you may find while visiting Spain.
However, before I start with the list, if you are staying in Spain for a while and you think your Spanish may leave a lot to be desired, perhaps you would be interested in looking into a Spanish language school Madrid? Improving your skills in the foreign language will benefit you in the end.
There are many accessible options if you are looking to take a course, whether it is an intensive one or one that accommodates your learning times. Getting better at Spanish will make your experience a whole lot better, and learning about the country itself will become easier. If you want to learn more about Spanish language courses, click here.
The western capercaillie (or Tetrao urogallus)
The western capercaillie, or simply capercaillie, is a bird related to chickens and pheasants. It can be found in the Cantabrian Mountains, and it’s, unfortunately, an endangered species.
The Mediterranean monk seal (or Monachus monachus)
To be more precise, this one is an aquatic mammal found in Mediterranean waters, in a marine reserve in El Toro, on the Island of Majorca. Many programs focus on preventing this species from endangerment so that you may find it all across the Mediterranean, Ceuta, and Melilla one day.
The greater mouse-eared bat (or Myotis myotis)
The Myotis myotis is a mammal that lives near water reservoir areas close to urban areas. You can mostly find them in the east room of the Spanish country, in the Balearic Islands and Ceuta.
The northern bald Ibis (or Geronticus eremita)
The northern bald Ibis is a bird with quite a long beak that is also endangered. Its diet consists mainly of small mammals and insects, and it can be found in the Doñana National Park and the La Breña y Marismas Del Barbate Natural Park.
The montseny brook newt (or Calotriton arnoldi)
This little person is an amphibian that lives in the Montseny Natural Park and is an endangered species. It was only discovered in 2005 because it was previously thought to be the same as the Pyrenean brook salamander.
The Iberolacerta cyreni
More commonly known as the Cyren’s rock lizard, the Iberolacerta cyreni is a reptile that is part of the endemic fauna of the Iberian Peninsula belonging to the Sierra de Gredos y Guadarrama mountain range.
The Pyrenean desman (or Galemys pyrenaicus)
This one is a small, semiaquatic mammal that is the product of the mix between a rat and a mole but is related to the shrews. It can be found in the rivers’ headwaters in the country’s north area.
Doing our part is essential.
As you may have noticed, most of the animal species listed above are endangered ones, which is one of the reasons why they are so strange, to begin with; Spain is the only place you may find them because there are not many of them.
If you were planning to visit Spain any time soon, I would highly recommend seeing these species for yourself, learning more about them, and maybe even looking into ways to help preserve them.
Of course, it is not always that easy, but the truth is, every action, no matter how big or how little it is, helps, especially when we are talking about endangered species like these. You may think you cannot do much to help them, but learning about them and telling other people what you know can be just as helpful.
Many organizations are looking for people interested in helping preserve endangered species; if this is something you find yourself being passionate about or just a little bit interested in, I encourage you to look more into it.
Experiences like that can be pretty eye-opening, and you may learn a lot of valuable information. Still, above all, you will take part in a critical mission, which is helping protect, heal and take care of our planet, which is a significant one.
We only have one Earth, and we must do our part so that generations to come will be able to enjoy it for what it is, a beautiful place full of incredible flora and fauna, and not just read about what it used to be.
Spain has many National and Natural Parks you can visit if that is something you are interested in; there are also many natural reserves and many interactive activities to do around if you are looking for a place to take your children so they can be involved as well.
It is essential to show them that it is great to be involved with nature and that it can be fun, children love learning exciting and weird facts about animals, and they always get excited when seeing something for the first time. I bet they will have a blast seeing some of the little friends I included on my list.