Menorca Wildlife and Nature Reserve
Menorca has one of the best-preserved natural sites since 1993 in the Mediterranean? It was declared by UNESCO, a Biosphere Reserve making up the Natural Reserve of s'Albufera des Grau, the Illa d'en Colom and incorporating Cap de Favaritx areas.
This Menorcan Natural Park is situated in the municipality of Maó and covers an area of 1,947+ hectares. In this selected area, there are 72 hectares that belong to a lagoon known as Es Prat known as a flood zone. You will also find several ponds, Sa Torret, Cala Morell, and l’Illa d’en Colom, whose combined surface area covers around 60 hectares.
"Menorca's island is a unique natural landscape made up by an area of terrestrial caves, carved out ravines, and picturesque underwater caves inhabited by unique animal and plant species."
Wild Animals you can find on Menorca
Small mammals, insects, reptiles, birds, rabbits, martens, ferrets, weasels, bats, and urchins.
On the island, you can find many different small mammals, insects, reptiles, and a decent variety of our feathered friends, birds. Birds are the biggest group of animals that are more noticeable, but there are many more different varieties of small animals roaming around. For instance, the island offers the freedom to many different types of mammals like rabbits, martens, ferrets, weasels, bats, and urchins.
Menorca is well known for its Mediterranean tortoises and turtles. They are in declining numbers and are a protected species. Lower stocks of fish in the Mediterranean and human intervention is thought to of been a factor in the decline of turtles.
Menorca Reptiles and Balearic Lizards
Geckos, one of the icons use widely on Menorca merchandise, these are small lizards found mainly in the evenings. They come out of the crooks and crannies, hunting down insects to feed on.
Most geckos can’t blink, so they often take to licking their eyes to keep them moist and clean. There arms and legs grip on any wall easily with their specialised toe pads, even when running! Familiar and often seen on the side of an apartment or villa.
Look out for the Green Wall Lizard which loves a bit of sun-basking. They have to be on the lookout though as they are the favourite food of the hoopoe bird. On the 'Isla del Aire' (near Punta Prima) is a black variety of lizard. The Drago, a larger type of lizard can sometimes be spotted, if you’re lucky.
Menorca Frogs and Toads
Marsh Frogs take to the wetlands on the island and in the trees are (of course) Tree Frogs. In the mix also are the toad family consisting of Midwife toads, Green toads and the Natterjack.
Birds are the group of animal species with the greatest presence on the island.
Types of Birds found on the island of Menorca
Nightingales - Brown and chestnut Coloured tails and white underneath measuring about 6.5cm
Red Kites - Menorcan bird of prey with a distinctive reddish-brown colouring and a forked tail. Also, hawks are known to fly in isolated areas.
Hoopoe (shown above) - Many seen around the island with their fanned out crested head, cinnamon coloured body and black wings. They have a unique call a bit like a cuckoo but instead of a duotone, they have three.
Great Spotted Cuckoo - can be seen and heard in the Spring in any woodland areas. Listen out for the strange 'barking' sound it makes. Hard to see sometimes as it is dark in colour and has a flat chest.
Scoop Owls - Measuring 19cms and the main owl resident coloured brown with ear tuffs, they look more grey in the twilight
Goldfinch - Singing along with its tuneful songs, red face, black and white head and tails and striking yellow and black wings. Very popular at Menorca and in the old days, they use to be crossbred with canaries.
Bee Eater - They pop in to see everyone between April and September with their beautiful plumage of blue, green, yellow and chestnut. Average bird measures 28 cms.
Other birds in residence
Wood Pigeons - common throughout Europe
Blackbirds - distinctive whistle in the early mornings and late evenings.
Also In woodland areas on the island, we find
Roaming Partridges and Quail.
Menorca Bird Scavengers
Plenty of Menorca Flora
Good variety of native trees including the most common Ullastrar. Islanders cultivated Wild Olive and Oak as it became the main source of wood and have grown well in Menorca.
The woods of pine trees mainly of ‘Pinus Halepensis’ were that were introduced over the last few centuries have become much more common than the islands native Holm Oak.
Other pines are often dotted about including the Aleppo and around the resorts Junipers. Thorny thickets are known locally as “Socarrells” cover the windblown coastline.
Amongst the woodlands, in Springtime, you can find some of the islands wild orchids with around a dozen or more varieties including the ‘Autumn Lady’s Tresses’.
In and around the island sheltered rocky ravines, you can find delicate plants like foxglove, rosemary, gladioli and wild saffron hiding away from the onshore winds.