As you creep quietly through the bushes you remember what it felt like to play explorers as a child. With your magnifying glass and binoculars in hand, you follow every insect or bird that crosses your path and eagerly pick up your book to see if you can identify the species and learn about its peculiarities and traits. You enjoy discovering animals you had never seen before, and Teide Natural Park is a great place for that with plenty of endemic species that you won't find anywhere else.
Covering an expanse of 20,000 hectares (49,500 acres), Teide National Park is a refuge for all sorts of interesting animals. Among the Park's vertebrate species are endemic reptiles such as lizards, geckos like the Tenerife Gecko, and the Gran Canaria skink, although the most emblematic reptile in this National Park is the Tenerife lizard (Gallotia galloti galloti).
The Park's bird-life comprises roughly two dozen species, only half of which regularly nest there. You are most likely to see Teide blue finches, Betherlot's pippits, wild canaries and kestrels, the most common bird of prey on the Island. Other more difficult to spot species living in the Park include the northern shrike (Lanius excubitor), the African blue tit (Parus caeruleus teneriffae) or the chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita).
Bats are the only native mammals in the Park, with five species. The most common is the lesser noctule (Nyctalus leisleri), while the endemic species is the Canary big-eared bat (Plecotus teneriffae). All three other species were introduced to the Park, as were the rest of the mammals that inhabit it, including mouflons, rabbits, feral cats, North African hedgehogs and Corsican mouflons.
But invertebrates are by far the most abundant creatures in Teide National Park, with over 1,400 species, over 40% of which are endemic. Spiders are particularly numerous, as are beetles and species of diptera, hemiptera and hymenoptera. In spring, the flowers attract a whole host of insects, especially thryps, cimex species, beetles, butterflies, wasps and many more. The blossom also attracts the honey bee (Apis mellifera), which allows bee-keepers to make top quality nectar.
In any case, whatever you come across, you have nothing to worry about as none of the fauna in this environment is harmful to humans.
The most significant species that can be found in Teide National Park are:
- Hedgehog (Aetechinus algirus)
- Tenerife lizard (Gallotia galloti galloti)
- Wild canary (Serinus canaria)
- Betherlot's pippit (Anthus b. Berthelotti)
- Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus Collybita canariensis)
- Plain swift (Apus u. Unicolor)
- Rock dove (Columba livia canariensis)
- Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus canariensis)
- Crow (Corvus corax tingitanus)
- Barbary partridge (Alectoris barbara)
- Teide finch (Fringilla t. Teydea)