Canary Islands part 06



 Auditorio de Tenerife Pano  Spartocytisus supranubius  Urville-Laguna

Note: Auditorio de Tenerife Pano // Spartocytisus supranubius // Urville-Laguna

  NEXT RANDOM ARTICLE  

   

<< previous page << >> next page >>

Wildlife

Prehistoric fauna

Before the arrival of the Aborigines, the Canary Islands was inhabited by endemic animals, such as some extinct; giant lizards (Gallotia goliath), giant rats (Canariomys bravoi and Canariomys tamarani) and giant tortoises (Geochelone burchardi and Geochelone vulcanica), among others.

Terrestrial wildlife

With a range of habitats, the Canary Islands exhibit diverse plant species. The bird life includes European and African species, such as the black-bellied sandgrouse; and a rich variety of endemic (local) taxa including the:

Terrestrial fauna includes geckos, wall lizards, and three endemic species of recently rediscovered and critically endangered giant lizard: the El Hierro giant lizard (or Roque Chico de Salmor giant lizard), La Gomera giant lizard, and La Palma giant lizard. Mammals include the Canarian shrew, Canary big-eared bat, the Algerian hedgehog (which may have been introduced) and the more recently introduced mouflon. Some endemic mammals, the lava mouse, Tenerife giant rat and Gran Canaria giant rat, are extinct, as are the Canary Islands quail, long-legged bunting, and the eastern Canary Islands chiffchaff.

Marine life

The marine life found in the Canary Islands is also varied, being a combination of North Atlantic, Mediterranean and endemic species. In recent years, the increasing popularity of both scuba diving and underwater photography have provided biologists with much new information on the marine life of the islands.

Fish species found in the islands include many species of shark, ray, moray eel, bream, jack, grunt, scorpionfish, triggerfish, grouper, goby, and blenny. In addition, there are many invertebrate species, including sponge, jellyfish, anemone, crab, mollusc, sea urchin, starfish, sea cucumber and coral.

There are a total of 5 different species of marine turtle that are sighted periodically in the islands, the most common of these being the endangered loggerhead sea turtle. The other four are the green sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle and Kemp's ridley sea turtle. Currently, there are no signs that any of these species breed in the islands, and so those seen in the water are usually migrating. However, it is believed that some of these species may have bred in the islands in the past, and there are records of several sightings of leatherback sea turtle on beaches in Fuerteventura, adding credibility to the theory.

Marine mammals include the large varieties of cetaceans including rare and not well-known species (see more details in the Marine life of the Canary Islands). Hooded seals have also been known to be vagrant in the Canary Islands every now and then. The Canary Islands were also formerly home to a population of the rarest pinniped in the world, the Mediterranean monk seal.

National parks of the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands officially has four national parks, of which two have been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and the other two declared a World Biosphere Reserve, these national parks are:

  • Caldera de Taburiente National Park (La Palma): Created in 1954 and declared a World Biosphere Reserve in 2002. It currently covers an area of 46.9 km2 (18.1 sq mi).
  • Garajonay National Park (La Gomera): Created in 1981 and declared in 1986 as a World Heritage Site. Its area is 3986 hectares at the core and some areas north of the island.
  • Timanfaya National Park (Lanzarote): Created in 1974 and declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1993, together with the whole island. Occupies an area of 51.07 km2 (19.72 sq mi), is located in the southwest of the island.
  • Teide National Park (Tenerife): Created in 1954, was declared a World Heritage Site in 2007. It covers an area of 18,990 hectares, is the oldest and largest national park in the Canary Islands and one of the oldest in Spain. The Teide in 2010 became the most visited national park in Europe and second worldwide. Located in the geographic center of the island is the most visited National Park in Spain. The highlight is the Teide at 3,718 meters altitude, is the highest elevation of the country and the third largest volcano on Earth from its base. Teide National Park was declared in 2007 as one of the 12 Treasures of Spain.

Sports

A unique form of wrestling known as Canarian wrestling (lucha canaria) has opponents stand in a special area called a "terrero" and try to throw each other to the ground using strength and quick movements.

Another sport is the "game of the sticks" where opponents fence with long sticks. This may have come about from the shepherds of the islands who would challenge each other using their long walking sticks.

Another sport is called the shepherd's jump (salto del pastor). This involves using a long stick to vault over an open area. This sport possibly evolved from the shepherd's need to occasionally get over an open area in the hills as they were tending their sheep.

The two main football teams in the archipelago are: the CD Tenerife (founded in 1912) and UD Las Palmas (founded in 1949). Now Tenerife play in Liga Adelante and Las Palmas in La Liga.

Notable athletes

See also

History

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The original article may be a bit shortened or modified. Some links may have been modified. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.

  NEXT RANDOM ARTICLE  

   

<< previous page << >> next page >>

 

 

on1click07-20
GB
AKIAIEDTQ3WTK7DNKUAA