Spain is the home to Tapas, beautiful beaches, unbelievable nightlife and an incredibly diverse culture, however we often forget about the Spanish wildlife. There is in fact a vast array of animals to be found throughout Spain. You can also find a guide for what to do in Spain here.
Much like the Animals in Italy, the brown bear is an animal that used to be prominent in the area, however the numbers have dwindled significantly. The amount of brown bears in Spain 100 years ago was approximately 1,000, while now there is believed to be only 100. If you’re hoping to spot a brown bear, you can find most of them in the Cantabria National Park.
The Spanish Lynx is a beautiful creature which is listed as an endangered species, however their figures have now trebled over the past 10 years, much to everyone’s relief. You can normally find these creatures in Sierra Morena in Andalusia or in the Donana National Park. They are pretty shy so you will be lucky to spot one up close if you visit the national park.
One of the animals you are more likely to spot is the quite amusing Long Haired Mountain Goat as there are believed to be approximately 20,000. Of course, you will find the goats up in the mountains, therefore if you’re heading for a beach holiday you might find yourself disappointed and lacking in goat joy, if there is such a thing.
The sea surrounding Spain has some incredibly mammals, including bottlenose striped and common dolphins, pilot whales, killer whales, blue whales, humpback whales and Pygmy sperm whales.
The Iberian Wolf is another which has increased their numbers recently, due to close monitoring and protection. You are most likely to see a wolf in either Asturias, Castilla-Leon or Galicia, as these are some of the last remaining areas in Europe that you can find the wolf.
There are only two animals in Spain on the critically endangered list, one of which is the Mediterranean Monk Seal, which were heavily hunted for their skin. Offering a ‘best place to spot’ is difficult as there are only 500 left worldwide, however if you are along the coast and notice a seal with brown skin, then get excited!
Bats are in vast supply in Spain, with a vast number of species to be found, such as the large bentwing bat, greater horseshoe bat, Kuhl’s Pipistrelle, European horseshoe bat and the Nathusius’s Pipistrelle.
Bird watching doesn’t really do anything for me, however Spain is one of the most popular area for grabbing those binoculars and looking into the sky. There are about 20 different species of birds of prey, with many indigenous to the country. The Spanish Black Vulture is the largest bird of prey indigenous to Europe, while there are believed to be more than 400 in Spain. You might also be lucky enough to spot a Golden Eagle flying above you. The best place in Spain for bird watching is the national park in Monfrague, which is now a UNESCO Biosphere reserve. Monfrague is also perfect for people hoping to spot animals on the land as well, as wild boars, reptiles, Iberian Lynx, Deer, wild cats, otters, insects and arachnids can be seen.