Sierra Nevada - Fauna

The Sierra Nevada was designated a national park in 1998
The Sierra Nevada was designated a national park in 1998

Sierra Nevada National Park - Fauna

The park's main draw for fauna is its rich birdlife, with over 60 species inhabiting the Sierra. Nesting birds of prey include golden eagles, Bonelli's eagles, peregrine falcons, griffon vultures and kestrels. On the higher slopes are Alpine accentors, black redstarts, northern wheateaters, rock thrushes, rock buntings, red-billed choughs and skylarks. In the woodland areas are hoopoes, short-toed treecreepers, green woodpeckers, coal tits, great tits, goldfinches and golden orioles.

The most commonly seen mammal by far is the Spanish ibex, a type of mountain goat with distinctive curling horns. Mediterranean pine voles and weasels are among the mammals inhabiting the higher slopes, while lower down are wild cats, wild boars, foxes, badgers, beech martens, genets, field mice and garden dormice.

The Sierra Nevada has 78 endemic vertebrate species, most of which are butterflies and beetles. The park is renowned for its outstanding variety of butterflies with 120 species recorded here, like the apollo butterfly. Other important invertebrate species are the 37 native species of beetle, including the rare endemic rhinoceros beetle and the grasshopper chorthippus nevadensis.

Reptiles and amphibians include ladder snakes, southern smooth snakes, ocellated lizards and natterkack toads.

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