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The flora and fauna of the island of Fuerteventura

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Herbaceous plantsHerbaceous plants

Much of the island of Fuerteventura stretches of dry hills, arid evenly with the palm of one tree.

Native vegetation of Fuerteventura is rare, clean, semi-desert or steppe. The vegetation is generally limited to three plant media, from the coast to the summits: the “taibaba dulce” consists mainly of Balsamic spurge (Euphorbia balsamifera), which develops in the hyper-arid or arid soils; the “cardonal” hillsides consists mainly of leafy Canary (Euphorbia canariensis), named “cardón” in Spanish, met in the semi-arid land; and “acebuchal” summits, the highest in semi-arid land, which includes olive cherry (Olea europaea subspecies cerasiformis) and the embattled buckthorn (Rhamnus crenulata), named “espino negro” in Spanish.

A plant - or a lichen - characteristic of Fuerteventura is orchil (Roccella tinctoria), used since ancient times to produce a purple dye often used to color the Roman togas, like purple animal extracted from the cochineal. The Romans also knew Fuerteventura and Lanzarote under the name of “Purple Islands”; this wealth aroused undoubtedly interest Jean de Béthencourt for these two islands.

Cacti, of American origin, have adapted perfectly and are ubiquitous.

Barbados aloe (Aloe vera)Fabagelle of Desfontaines (Zygophyllum fontanesii) (Uva de mar, Uvilla)
It is a coastal plant salt-tolerant and drought-tolerant, can withstand sunlight conditions and intense drought. It grows on rocky and sandy substrates, especially those of the north coast in the case of the Canary Islands.
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Aloe Field, Aloe vera, Fuerteventura. Click to enlarge the image.The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. halophile Plant saline del Carmen. Click to enlarge the image.The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Fabagelle of Desfontaines (Zygophyllum fontanesii) on the island of Lobos. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
Stepmother Cushion (Echinocactus grusonii) (Asiento de suegra, Bola de oro, Barril dorado, Barril de oro )
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Stepmother Cushion (Echinocactus grusonii) in Antigua. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
Sisal agave (Agave sisal ana)
The sisal agave is a plant native to Mexico that produces a highly resistant fiber used in the production string and coarse carpet.
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Agave sisal (Agave sisalana) in Antigua. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Agave sisal (Agave sisalana) in Lobos. Click to enlarge the image.The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Agave sisal (Agave sisalana) in Lobos. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
Tubercled statice (Limonium tuberculatum)
The statice Tubercled is a dense bush, with slender leaves (the spatulate basal leaves of the young plant then disappear). Hinged rods and set at the base. terminal or sub-terminal inflorescences, pseudo-umbel. pink flowers in persistent calyx.

Its range covers West Africa (Morocco, Sahara) and the Canary Islands. Its only population in the Canary Islands is in the island of Lobos; the plant was reintroduced in Maspalomas in Gran Canaria.

The Limonium tuberculatum grows in sandy soil near the sea, growing among coastal rocks or forming dense clumps near the lagoons.

The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Tubercled Statice (Limonium tuberculatum). Click to enlarge the image.The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Tubercled Statice (Limonium tuberculatum). Click to enlarge the image.The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Tubercled Statice (Limonium tuberculatum). Click to enlarge the image.

TreesTrees

Balsamiferous spurge (Euphorbia balsamifera)
Balsamiferous spurge is a shrub of arid and semi-arid, whose distribution extends from Arabia to the Canary Islands, through the Sahara. Its sap, non-toxic, was used by the Aborigines as chewing gum to clean their teeth; Hence it is the epithet balsamifère. In Spanish this euphorbia is also named tabaiba dulce.
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. balsamifère Spurge (Euphorbia balsamifera) in Lobos. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. balsamifère Spurge (Euphorbia balsamifera) in Lobos. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
Moquin’s Traganum (Traganum moquinii) (balancón)
The Moquin’s Traganum is a branched shrub of arid and semi-arid; its range covers the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa and the Canary Islands; it grows in sandy coastal areas and can reach one meter in height. The leaves of a cm long, are entire, hairy, cylindrical and fleshy; the stems are ribbed and are not articulated. The flowers are yellowish, are solitary and axillary and are protected by two bracts. This species is dedicated to the French botanist Alfred Moquin-Tandon (1804-1863).
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Traganum Moquin (Traganum moquinii). Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Traganum Moquin (Traganum moquinii). Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).

InsectsInsects and Arachnids

Hemorrhoa mining bee (Andrena haemorrhoa)?
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Andrena haemorrhoa of Euphorbia balsamifera, Cactus Garden Antigua. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Andrena haemorrhoa of Euphorbia balsamifera, Cactus Garden Antigua. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Andrena haemorrhoa of Euphorbia balsamifera, Cactus Garden Antigua. Click to enlarge the image.
Insect to be identified
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Juvenile insect to identify Corralejo. Click to enlarge the image.

MolluscsMolluscs

FishesFishes

ReptilesReptiles

BirdsBirds

The arid climate of Fuerteventura explains the presence on the island for several species of birds usually subdesert. We can observe in flat expanses covered with steppe vegetation, both south and north of the island. All these species are characterized by a light-colored plumage, yellow beige, more or less mottled with black, mimicking the color of rocky or sandy soil and dry vegetation. Birds have full confidence in their camouflage. They rarely fly but run very fast. Disturbed, they start running, trying to remove the potential predator of their hidden nest even the floor. They fly only when visibly closer to them, and always on a short distance, reducing their stress to a minimum and saving scarce water reserves. Like most desert species, their activity is mainly nocturnal, and one can hardly watch as the cool hours of sunrise and sunset. The rarest and largest in size of these birds is the Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata) (hubara canaria), recognizable by its legs, and its fairly long neck, her beige plumage heavily spotted with black, especially the Canaries; Houbara Bustard is in danger of extinction. Less rare is the Canary wheatear (Saxicola dacotiae) (tarabilla canaria), a small bird accustomed singer rocky slopes, with a population of about 750 pairs; as well as the Lesser Short-toed Lark (Alaudala rufescens) (terrera marismeña). Quite common is the githagine finch (Bucanetes githagineus) (camachuelo trompetero). Occasionally, there may be some twenty pairs of Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus) (guirre) that remain in the island, the little that remains of a scavenger that there is only a century, invaded the different Canary Islands .

Three other species, most common, also inhabit the peninsula Jandía, and the small desert of El Jable to the north. The stone curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) called alcaraván in Spanish is recognized by its mottled beige plumage, wings streaked with visible black val, its yellow beak with black tip, and the plaintive cry that pushes the evening. The Canaries have a subspecies endemic, Burrhinus oedicnemus distinctus, present on all the islands, but we will be more likely to see Fuerteventura. However, the cream-colored courser (Cursorius cursor) corredor in Spanish is not an endemic genus: it is the same species that Sahara, recognizable by its beige plumage except below wings and a black eyebrow at his curved beak, and especially his long yellow legs that allow it amazing strides which it is named in all languages ​​the cream-colored courser is quite abundant. Luck also perhaps we will observe the ganga unibande (Pterocles orientalis) ortega in Spanish: it is a rather round bird with short legs, yellow plumage above and black below, which normally lives in North Africa and the arid plateaus of mainland Spain.

Spanish sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis)
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis) in Betancuria. Click to enlarge the image.The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis) in Betancuria. Click to enlarge the image.
Berthelot’s Pipit (Anthus berthelotii)
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Berthelot's Pipit (Anthus berthelotii) lighthouse de Lobos. Click to enlarge the image.The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Berthelot's Pipit (Anthus berthelotii) lighthouse de Lobos. Click to enlarge the image.
Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor)
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor) in El Cotillo. Click to enlarge the image.The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor) in El Cotillo. Click to enlarge the image.
Raven (Corvus corax)Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Raven (Corvus corax) in Betancuria. Click to enlarge the image.The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Raven (Corvus corax) in Betancuria. Click to enlarge the image.The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) Corralejo. Click to enlarge the image.
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) in Corralejo. Click to enlarge the image.The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) in Corralejo. Click to enlarge the image.The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) in Corralejo. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).

MammalsMammals

Mammals have, for the most part been introduced by humans, some very recently, like the hedgehog in Algeria (Atelerix algirus) (erizo moruno), who arrived in 1892 or squirrel Barbary (Atlantoxerus getulus) (squirrel Moruna) in 1965, both from the African continent. Another invader is the rabbit, the other imported species.

Native species are only two, the eastern pipistrelle Kuhl (Pipistrellus kuhlii) (murciélago de borde claro), a rare and localized bats and shrews Canary (Crocidura canariensis) (musaraña de Canarias), a small insectivorous mammal .

Barbary squirrel (Atlantoxerus getulus)
The Barbary squirrel (Atlantoxerus getulus) (ardilla moruna), imported from the Moroccan Atlas, has become an invader that is almost everywhere meeting on the island of Fuerteventura, which he likes countless walls of stone where he perch to observe the surroundings. The Barbary ground squirrel squirrel is a beige coat with brown longitudinal stripes, and a long bushy tail whose fur has alternating light and dark rings.
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Barbary Squirrel Salinas del Carmen. Click to enlarge the image.The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Barbary Squirrel Salinas del Carmen. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Barbary Squirrel (Atlantoxerus getulus) in Betancuria. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Barbary Squirrel (Atlantoxerus getulus) in Betancuria. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Barbary Squirrel (Atlantoxerus getulus) in Betancuria. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Barbary Squirrel (Atlantoxerus getulus) in Betancuria. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
Goat (Capra aegagrus)
The flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Goat on the peninsula Jandía. Click to enlarge the image.

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The island of Fuerteventura - OTC Brochure (PDF)
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