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Animals in danger of extinction in the Canary Islands

The National Catalog of Threatened Species (CNEA) includes 15 species of animals in danger of extinction in the Canary Islands , of which 9 are invertebrates, there is 1 reptile and the other 5 are birds. Although little by little the current situation of different species is being studied and more and more are entering a vulnerable state, in danger of extinction or even at a critical level of extinction danger.

If you are curious and want to know some of these vertebrates and invertebrates in danger of extinction in the Canary Islands, continue reading this AgroCorrn article where you can discover a list of 17 species at risk (to different degrees), what are their main characteristics and threats that have led to a deplorable state of conservation.

Tabaiba grasshopper (Acrostira euphorbiae)

This endemic Canarian invertebrate, known as cigarillo palo palmero or grasshopper of the tabaiba ( Acrostira euphorbiae ) , is distributed in the southwest of the island of La Palma, in the Protected Natural Areas (ENP) of El Remo and La Tamanca. It usually inhabits rocky soils of the tabaidal-cardonal, a mosaic of succulent vegetation typical of the low and coastal areas of the Canary Islands. A peculiarity of this species of grasshopper is that it is flightless, that is, it does not have wings.

In recent years, an increase in livestock grazing in the range of this grasshopper together with an increase in the percentage of soil sealed by the effects of urbanization, have threatened the conservation and survival of this species, which has led to that IUCN considers it critically endangered .

Halophiloscia canariensis

The H. canariensis is one of the invertebrate animals endangered in the Canary Islands . This species does not have a common name and is considered a type of moisture scale . Small in size, this halophilic invertebrate lives on the margins of underground saltwater lakes (Jameos del Agua) and areas with a certain marine influence (Fuerteventura and Lanzarote beaches).

Threatened by the tourist pressure in the area, it is in danger of extinction according to national catalogs and lists.

Majorero cave opilion (Maiorerus randoi)

The majorero cave opilion ( Maiorerus randoi ) is an arthropod located north of Fuerteventura, which resembles spiders with its long and thin legs and belongs to the Arachnida class. This troglomorphic opilion develops its life cycle in underground areas, it lacks eyes (it is aphthalmus), it does not have a waist and is small. It differs from the rest of the Canarian opiliones in the lack of body pigmentation and strongly armed palps.

Given the fragility of their habitats and the degradation to which they are subjected by the deposition of garbage inside caves and by the fires that occur in them, it is currently possible to find them in the Cueva del Llano de Villaverde.

Pimelia de las arena or bonbon (Pimelia granulicollis)

This is one of the animals that make up the fauna of Gran Canaria . The beetle of this island itself is threatened by the destruction and fragmentation of its habitat for the urban expansion of the area, it is in danger of extinction according to the CNEA and the Canary Catalog of Protected Species, although for the IUCN its conservation status is Vulnerable.

The sand pimelia or bonbon ( Pimelia granulicollis ) is a beetle easy to differentiate due to its large size, its shiny black color and its body surface covered with small dots that give it a grainy appearance. Of diurnal habits, the distribution of this species gives rise to its name, since the pamellia of the sands is usually found in sandy areas of the island or in its surroundings (coastal dunes or sandy ravines).

Palm weevil (Rhopalomesites euphorbiae)

The mount tabaiba weevil ( Rhopalomesites euphorbiae ) is another beetle endemic to the islands of La Palma, La Gomera and Tenerife that inhabits the mount tabaiba or wild tabaiba ( Euphorbia mellifera ), typical of the laurel forests, plant of which feeds in its larval state (they are xylophagous insects ). Physically, it is characterized by having a black, brown and reddish pigmentation and by the elongated shape of its face, like a beak.

This species, threatened by the disappearance of the plant it hosts, is in danger of extinction .

Majorera limpet (Patella candei candei)

The majorera limpet, picua limpet or sun limpet Patella candei candei ) is a Macaronesian endemism of the Salvajes archipelagos that inhabits the highest strip of the intertidal zone (upper mesolitoral of rocky coasts).

It is currently so threatened by shellfish harvesting and the degradation and destruction of its habitat that only a few populations remain in a state of regression.

Painted lobster or black lobster (Panulirus echinatus)

The painted lobster or Herreña lobster ( Panulirus echinatus ) , which inhabits underwater caves and badlands, is a shallow seabed crustacean that is distributed beyond the Canary archipelago (La Palma, El Hierro, La Gomera, Tenerife and Gran Canaria) located along along the eastern and western Atlantic. With dimensions that can exceed 8 kg, this reddish-brown or purple-brown lobster with yellow spots on the abdomen and legs, is characterized by the spiny shell that it possesses and which gives the species its name ( echinatus , which means bristly).

Underwater overfishing and the destruction of its habitat has led to the fact that, although its conservation status is of less concern worldwide (LC, Least Concern ) according to the IUCN, it is considered one of the marine animals of the Canary Islands in danger of extinction , and that their populations in the area have dropped a lot in recent years.

Jameíto or jameo (Munidopsis polymorpha)

The jameíto or jameo ( Munidopsis polymorpha ) , also known as blind crab , is an endemic decapod of the island of Lanzarote, whose name is related to the abundance of this invertebrate in the main pool of the Jameos del Agua.

Characterized by its white color, as it is depigmented, this anchihaline species that lives in underwater caves is seriously threatened by discharges derived from tourist pressure, as well as by the opening of quarries and wells.

Gran Canaria blue finch (Fringilla teydea)

Among the Canarian birds in danger of extinction we have the Gran Canaria blue finches ( Fringilla teydea ) . With two subspecies, these passerines are distributed throughout Tenerife ( Fringilla teydea teydea ) and, with a lower population density, they are also present in Gran Canaria ( Fringilla teydea polatzeki ). These birds that live in Canarian forests and pine forests ( Pinus canariensis ), do not make great movements, which gives them a sedentary character. In addition, they stand out for their gregarious behavior during winter, but more distant and territorial in the spring months.

The illegal capture and trade of the Gran Canaria blue finch and the loss of pine forests constitute its main threats.

Canary Egyptian vulture or guirre (Neophron percnopterus majorensis)

The Canary Egyptian vulture or guirre ( Neophron percnopterus majorensis ) is a subspecies of the common Egyptian vulture endemic to the Canary Islands, very abundant in the archipelago until the middle of the last century; However, its population decline has caused that the presence of this diurnal raptor is currently limited to the islands of Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Alegranza.

Characterized by its sedentary, gregarious and scavenger behavior , this vulture is strongly threatened by industrialization, tourism development and population growth, which have led to an increase in electrification systems. Along these lines, power lines, sometimes used by these animals to sleep, and lead poisoning, have led this species to its current state of conservation in critical danger of extinction .

Barn owl or common owl (Tyto alba gracilirostris)

We continue to indicate some of the vertebrate animals in danger of extinction in the Canary Islands . Within the fauna of the Canary Islands, in the order of the stringiformes or nocturnal birds of prey , the majorera owl ( Tyto alba gracilirostris ) stands out .

This species of owl is also threatened by power lines and poisonings, as in the case of the Canary Egyptian vulture. Their conservation status in the Canary Islands is currently vulnerable , but with a downward trend in their populations.

Common nasturtium butterfly (Pieris cheiranthi)

The nasturtium butterfly ( Pieris cheiranthi ) has two subspecies distributed, one in Tenerife and Gran Canaria ( Pieris cheiranthi cheiranthi ) and another in La Palma and La Gomera ( Pieris cheiranthi benahorensis ).

Focusing on the Tenerife subspecies, which inhabits laurel forest areas and cultivation areas, the nasturtium butterfly shows a decline in its populations that seems to be motivated by the introduction of the European parasitic wasp and by the anthropic degradation of its habitat.

More animals in danger of extinction in the Canary Islands

These are other animals in danger of extinction in the Canary Islands or in critical danger or, even, that are close to this situation, being already in a vulnerable state of conservation:

  • Gran Canaria stick cigar ( Acrostira tamarani ): in the archipelago we have another grasshopper, which also inhabits tabaidal areas, but unlike the Palmero stick cigarette, it presents a vulnerable state of conservation and not in danger of extinction.
  • Giant lizard of La Gomera ( Gallotia bravoana ): currently this species is in critical danger of extinction.
  • Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus ): this marine mammal is currently in danger of extinction and not only in the Canary Islands, but also in other regions of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Canarian hubara ( Chlamydotis undulata fuertaventurae ): this is another of the typical birds of the place and that are in danger of extinction in the Canary Islands.
  • Tagarote hawk or Barbary hawk Falco pelegrinoides ) : although at a general level, in all the areas it inhabits, it is not in danger, in the Canary Islands it is in danger of extinction.

In the same order of the list, you can see the photos of these endangered animals in the Canary Islands. After knowing all these animals in danger of extinction in the Canary Islands, or in a vulnerable situation of conservation or, at the other extreme, in a critical situation of danger of extinction, we recommend that you also read this other post about 32 animals in danger of extinction in Spain .

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