Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-2

Contents

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p. 3

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Introduction

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p. 4

The aim of this book is to enable anyone, visitor or resident, to identify all the birds, land mammals, marine mammals, reptiles, amphibians, dragonflies and butterflies that are likely to be encountered on these magical islands, as well as to give an introduction to the habitats in which these animals occur. The photographs and text highlight the key differences between all...

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The geography and climate of Madeira and the Canary Islands

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pp. 5-9

Madeira and the Canary Islands are two neighbouring archipelagos in the eastern Atlantic Ocean lying off the north-western coast of Africa, which together with the more remote Azores to the north and the Cape Verde islands to the south, form the island region known as Macaronesia. All of these...

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Habitats

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pp. 10-17

Having risen directly from the ocean floor as volcanoes, the islands we see today are the tips of much larger undersea mountains. Consequently, the coastal waters drop rapidly away in depth at short distances from the islands - the sea floor in the Canary Basin just off El Hierro is some 4,000 m deep! Because of these great depths, oceanic cetaceans, seabirds and sea turtles...

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Conservation

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pp. 18-19

Because of the isolated volcanic environment, the number of species unique to the islands is very high, and they therefore have a very high conservation value. This is particularly true of the plants: some 10% of the 1,140 vascular plants on Madeira and 32% of the 2,176 vascular plants on the Canaries occur nowhere else on earth. Levels of endemism are also...

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Main wildlife sites

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pp. 20-27

Central Plains. The sandy plains west and north-west of Teguise are the best place to see the desert specialist birds such as Houbara Bustard, Cream-coloured Courser and Stone Curlew, which are perhaps easier to see here than on Fuerteventura because they are more concentrated. Trumpeter Finch and Lesser Short-toed Lark may also be...

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Wildlife-watching tips

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pp. 28-29

Ecotourism is seen as an increasingly sustainable form of tourism in the islands and is one way of putting a value on the retention of natural habitats and species. Much wildlife can be seen by taking walks in the places suggested in Main wildlife sites - pages 20-27. This section gives some tips in order to help you maximise your encounters with the islands' wildlife. For...

Species Accounts

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Birds

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pp. 30-139

Despite their relative remoteness from the mainland, the volcanic islands of Madeira and the Canaries have been colonised by many species of birds since their formation Migrating birds lost at sea would have found sanctuary on the islands, and some would have stayed, creating the distinctive avifauna that remains today A total of 91 species currently breed more or less regularly...

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Mammals: Marine

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pp. 140-152

Large whales Five species of large whales are regularly encountered around the islands, including the Sperm Whale, a toothed whale that hunts at depth for large squid, and four similar-looking baleen whales, which sieve the rich waters for fi sh and crustaceans The commonest baleen whale is Bryde's Whale, which occurs throughout the year and frequents shallower coastal waters Other...

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Mammals: Land

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pp. 153-158

Large whales Five species of large whales are regularly encountered around the islands, including the Sperm Whale, a toothed whale that hunts at depth for large squid, and four similar-looking baleen whales, which sieve the rich waters for fish and crustaceans The commonest baleen whale is Bryde's Whale, which occurs throughout the year and frequents shallower coastal waters Other...

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Mammals: Bats

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pp. 159-163

With their powers of flight, bats have been able to colonise the islands over the years, and currently number eight breeding species Most of the bats require sheltered areas out of the prevailing winds in which to forage at night for flying insects, and many species are therefore restricted mostly to areas with intact forest structure close to roost sites Populations of many species would have...

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Reptiles and amphibians

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pp. 164-182

Lizards One species of lizard, the Madeira Lizard, is endemic to Madeira, while the lizard population of the Canaries represents one of the best examples of island evolution and radiation Genetic work has revealed that ancestors of both the giant lizards and the smaller lizards originated in North Africa and reached the Eastern Canaries first, having presumably arrived on floating debris, before...

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Dragonflies and damselflies

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pp. 183-191

The number of dragonflies occurring on the islands is relatively small, thanks to the islands' oceanic isolation and the limited areas of suitable freshwater wetlands Five dragonflies and one damselfly occur regularly on Madeira and Porto Santo, and 10 dragonflies and two damselflies occur regularly on the Canaries, while a further two migratory dragonfly species have arrived in recent years and...

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Butterflies

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pp. 192-211

Resident species A total of 16 butterfl ies occur regularly on Madeira, with 37 on the Canaries Many of these can be observed all year round in the equitable climate of the islands, although others occur only as migrants, and several species - the three endemic green-striped whites and Greenish Black-tip - fly mostly December-June, when vegetation is lusher on the drier Eastern Canaries...

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Rare birds of the region

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p. 212

In addition to the 163 bird species illustrated in this book, a further 325 had been recorded as rare visitors to the Canary Islands (C) or Madeira (M) up to the end of 2017 The table below lists the 109 species that are rare but are recorded regularly on either island group, as denoted by a tick The order of species follows Birdlife International...

Further reading and websites

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p. 213

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Photographic and artwork credits

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pp. 214-216

The production of this book would not have been possible without the generous support of the many photographers who kindly supplied their images In total, over 600 images are featured, representing the work of 92 photographers Thanks go to the photographers who generously provided access to their entire portfolio of images, and whose work is featured are also...

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Scientific, Spanish and Portuguese names

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pp. 217-221

The names used for the birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and dragonflies featured in this book are the generally accepted English names However, people from many different countries visit Madeira and the Canary Islands, and these names may not therefore be familiar to all Some visitors will know the species by their universally recognized scientific names and, to...

Index

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pp. 222-224