Madeira Wildlife – 10 Curiosities You Should Know

Nov 28, 2022 | Activities

dolphin watching in portugal

If you’re looking for somewhere to get away from it all and enjoy some stunning scenery and wildlife, then Madeira Island is the perfect place for you. This Portuguese island, located in the Atlantic Ocean, is home to a variety of endemic species of plants and animals, as well as some beautiful natural habitats. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the curious facts about Madeira wildlife.

10 Curiosities about Madeira Wildlife

-The Garajau Natural Reserve

Garajau Natural Reserve

Garajau Natural Reserve. Photo by IFCN

Located in the southeast of Madeira Island, the natural reserve of Garajau covers an area of ​​approximately 2,500 hectares.

The reserve includes the entire coastline from Ponta de São Lourenço to Cabo Girão, as well as the adjacent marine área, and is home to a large number of endemic species, such as the Madeiran Large White butterfly (Pieris wollastoni), the Madeiran Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge xiphia) and the Madeiran Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio machaon madeirensis).

-A heaven for Biodiversity

According to environmentalists, Madeira is a haven for biodiversity and an important refuge for many species that have completely disappeared from the continent of Europe.

-Dolphins and Whales

watching dolphins and whales in madeira

Watching dolphins and whales are among the most popular activities in Madeira. In addition to the wonderful landscapes, visitors will likely see some dolphins and whales up close, as the region is a natural habitat for these animals.

Would you like to see these animals in their natural habitat? Book now your trip on Whales & Dolphins Watching | Bonita da Madeira.

-Record-breaking Tuna

Many fans of big game fishing flock to Madeira to catch blue marlin or record-breaking tuna, whose weight can exceed 300 kg.

-Pombo Torcaz

Pombo torcaz

Pombo Torcaz. Photo by Tristan Ferne

The “Pombo Torcaz” only exists in the laurel forest, with an estimated total population of 10,300 individuals.


Lobo Marinho in Madeira island

The Mediterranean Monk-seal or “Lobo-Marinho”, is the rarest seal in the world and a species considered in danger of extinction. In Portugal, it is found only in the Madeira archipelago, more specifically in Desertas Island.

-The Madeira Bat

When the first settlers arrived in Madeira, the only mammals they found were bats, one of which is endemic: the Madeira Bat.


desertas islands tarantula

Tarantula. Photo by IFCN

In Desertas Islands, a rare and unique species in the world lives- The Tarantula with about 4.5 cm in body length.


Laurisilva Madeira

The Laurissilva forest was recognized as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO and is considered a relic. In the interior areas of the forest, which are in a better state of conservation, around seven species of birds are regularly observed, such as the emblematic “Pombo-trocaz” and the “Bis-bis”

Furthermore, in Laurisilva there are more than 500 endemic species of invertebrates.

-Petrel Freira

One of the most endangered seabirds in the world, the “Petrel Freira” lives exclusively on Madeira Island.

In Conclusion

Travellers are increasingly curious about wildlife while travelling to various locations. In the archipelago, you can found such as mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects.

Madeira has more endemic species than any other island on earth, so much so that some 600 are yet to be discovered and documented by scientists. So if you are a wildlife lover, Madeira will enchant you.

Would you like to appreciate better the wildlife in Madeira? Read our article about Boat Trips in Madeira.


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