Canary Islands

Biotrotting through the Canary Islands

In 2012 Biotrotter was born and Wilhelm and Joel travelled Africa together for 5 epic biotrotting months. While Wilhelm goes to work with orangutans in Indonesia, Joel and new fellow biotrotter Brenda go explore the latin world! Before embarking on a longer journey heading west the first stop is Fuerteventura, a small island in the Atlantic ocean close to Africa, which is also Brendas home island. While visiting family, working and finishing up university studies in the weekdays the weekends are spent doing excursions to experience the beautiful scenary and wildlife of this very dry and old volcanic island. The volcanoes climbed and the hikes accomplished are part of a warming up program for the upcoming long journey we plan for South America!

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Joel and Brenda ascending Pico de la Zarza in Fuerteventura.

 While there are not many native mammal species on the island, there are quite a few bird species present of which several subspecies are endemic to the Canary islands and some to Fuerteventura. The populations of endemic species have suffered a lot from habitat loss and introductions of invasive species but we head out to try to see the very endangered subspecies of egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus majorensis) and Houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulata fuerteventurae) who’s extremely small populations are being driven towards extinction on the island.

Sacred ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) patrolling the beach in Barranco de los Canarios southern Fuerteventura

Sacred ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) patrolling the beach in Barranco de los Canarios, southern Fuerteventura

The plants you on Fuerteventura are quite few in comparison with other Canary islands, and the species you find are mostly small shrubs especially adapted for the dry and windy conditions on the island. The tallest peak, located in south the island (Pico de la Zarza, 814 m) holds a more lush vegetation because of the more moist conditions you find there.

Balsam spurge (Euphorbia balsamifera) and the town of Morro Jable going up Pico de la Zarza, Fuerteventura

Balsam spurge (Euphorbia balsamifera) and the town of Morro Jable going up Pico de la Zarza, Fuerteventura

Squirrels are cute and fun to feed for tourists but since their introduction from North Africa in the 1960s they have caused a lot of damage to the native wildlife, especially to the the birds.

Barbary ground Squirrel (Atlantoxerus getulus) in Calderón hondo Fuerteventura

Barbary ground Squirrel (Atlantoxerus getulus) in Calderón hondo Fuerteventura

 

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