Exploring the 14 Interesting Animals in Portugal

Portugal wildlife is filled up with interesting animals in Portugal, Europe and North Africa. Portugal is the westernmost point of Europe and lies on the west coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Some quite interesting animals in Portugal include boars, wild goats, fallow deer, foxes, and Iberian hares.

interesting animals in portugal

Did You Know? Portugal’s national animal is the Iberian wolf.

It is home to six terrestrial ecoregions, that includes, Azores temperate mixed forests, Cantabrian mixed forests, Madeira evergreen forests, the Azores Temperate, the Southwest Iberian Mediterranean Sclerophyllous, Iberian sclerophyllous and semi-deciduous forests.

Many interesting animals in Portugal, including migratory birds, stop in Portugal while on their journey to and from central Europe to Africa and beyond. Azorean Bat is recognized as an endangered species in Portugal.

There are extinct and endangered animals in Portugal. Some extinct animals have been reintroduced, like the red squirrel. To see the full list of endangered species in Portugal, head over to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

interesting animals in portugal

Places to Find Interesting Animals in Portugal

Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve

interesting animals in portugal

The Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve is the largest wetland in the country and is one of the most important wetlands in Europe because of its three ponds. That attracts various migratory birds and interesting animals in Portugal. This natural reserve is spread over an area of 18,400 hectares of land, filled mostly with marshes, islets, and mud flats.

Some of the native species in Portugal are endangered, including the Iberian wolf, the Iberian lynx, and the white stork. Wild animals found in Portugal include wolves, lynx, wildcats, wild boars, goats, deer, hares, and more. Due to its location, Portugal remains rich in birdlife as it sits on the western migration route of many western and central species.

Interesting Facts: 73% of the Freshwater fish: An integral part of fauna diversity in Portugal occurring in the Iberian Peninsula are endemic.

Peneda-Geres National Park

interesting animals in portugal

Peneda-Geres National Park is the only national park in Portugal. The park spreads across four granite massifs and includes valleys, oak forests, peat bogs, and more. Foxes, wild boars, ibex, and deer can be found in the park, as well as 147 other bird species.

14 Interesting Animals in Portugal’s Eco-system

Pin-tailed Whydah

interesting animals in portugal

Name: Pin-tailed Whydah

Scientific name: Vidua macroura

Conservation status: Least concern wildlife in Portugal

The Pin-tailed Whydah is an exotic species of songbird found in the highlands of São Miguel and Madeira. Outside of that, it also lives in much of sub-Saharan Africa and introduced to various areas such as southern California, Singapore, and Puerto Rico. This bird inhabits savannas, scrubs, and grasslands.

On the IUCN red list of endangered species, these small birds are listed as “Least Concern.”

Iberian Fox

interesting animals in portugal

These red foxes, scientifically named Vulpes Vulpes Silacea, are largely seen in North Africa, much like many interesting animals in Portugal. These look insanely cute if you see a cub, but again, maintain a distance.

Bonelli’s Eagle

interesting animals in portugal

Scientific name : Aquila fasciata

Conservation status: Least concern

Like many animals, the Bonelli’s eagle is a large species of bird of prey native to the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and the Arabian Peninsula. It lives in the hills and mountains of Portugal, at elevations of up to 1,500 m / 4,900 ft above sea level. This eagle lives in territories of about 130 km² / 50 sq in Portugal, and there are only around 75 to 90 pairs left.

Iberian Wolf, a common animal often recognised in the Portuguese wildlife

interesting animals in portugal

Iberian Wolf is another which is slowly dying out, with under 300 believed to be left, the Iberian Wolf are certainly a rare sight. Make sure not to feed one if you spot it, as this will increase the chances of them approaching humans, which would lead them being shot by humans in the future.

Portugal national animal is the Iberian wolf. As its name suggests, the Iberian wolf is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, which is made up of Spain and Portugal. It can be found in the northernmost parts of the country. There are about 2,200 to 2,700 Iberian wolves, which is the largest population in Western Europe.

Egyptian Mongoose

interesting animals in portugal

Name : Egyptian mongoose

Scientific name : Herpestes ichneumon

Conservation status : Least concern

The Egyptian mongoose, also known as the ichneumon, is a species of mongoose native to the coastal Mediterranean Sea, as well as much of sub-Saharan Africa. Whether it has been introduced to the Iberian Peninsula or is native. These Mongoose are one of the interesting animals roaming in Portugal.

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin

interesting animals in portugal

Name : Atlantic spotted dolphin

Scientific name : Stenella frontalis

Conservation status : Least concern

The Atlantic spotted dolphin is a species of dolphin native to temperate and warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean, from southern Portugal to southwestern Africa and southeastern South America. The older it gets, the more recognizable it becomes, having more and more spots all over its body. This dolphin is a highly sociable species, and lives in groups of 5 to 15 individuals, often mixed with common bottlenose.

Cantabrian Brown Bear

interesting animals in portugal

Name: Cantabrian brown bear is recognised as an important wildlife in Portugal

Scientific name: Ursus arctos pyrenaicus

Conservation status: Data deficient

Previously thought to be locally extinct in Portugal, the Cantabrian brown bear, also known as the Iberian brown bear, was recently sighted in the country. It is a subspecies of the European brown bear endemic to the Cantabrian Mountains of Spain and Portugal. Despite being very strong, it is timid and avoids human contact mostly.

Portuguese Ibex

interesting animals in portugal

Name : Portuguese Ibex

Scientific name : Capra pyrenaica lusitanica

Conservation status : Extinct

There are a lot of species threatened by overhunting in Portugal, and the Portuguese Ibex was one of them. It used to live in the northern, mountainous areas of Portugal, and was widespread within its range until 1800, after which hunting pressure never ceased increasing.

Other factors such as predation, disease outbreaks, and a disproportionate amount of males were also fatal to this species. The last known specimen of Portuguese ibex died in 1890.

Black Stork

interesting animals in portugal

Name: Black Stork

Scientific name : Ciconia nigra

Conservation status: Least concern

While most people know about the white stork, the black stork is a much less famous relative. It is a large migratory bird that lives in the southern parts of Africa and breeds throughout Eurasia.


interesting animals in portugal

One of the most beautiful creatures in the world, the lynx might be a rare spot, located up in the Malcata mountains. Then again, you might not want to get too close to these anyway, as they might not be the most friendly if they feel provoked.

Common Chameleon

interesting animals in portugal

Name : Common chameleon

Scientific name : Chamaeleo chamaeleon: A common lizard species in Portugal

Conservation status : Least concern

The common chameleon, also known as the Mediterranean chameleon, is a species of chameleon native to the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Basin, as well as the surrounding areas of the Red Sea. It is the only chameleon that can be found in Europe (in fact, only in southernmost Portugal and Spain). It is threatened by habitat loss, predation by domestic animals, and roadkill. Despite this, it has a large range and a stable population.

European Hedgehog

interesting animals in portugal

Western Hedgehog Or European hedgehog as it is also known, these cute creatures are found all across the continent and aren’t a very rare sight. Often sneaking into gardens, make sure not to step on one!

Name: European hedgehog

Scientific name : Erinaceus europaeus

Conservation status : Least concern

The European hedgehog is also known as the common hedgehog or the West European hedgehog. It is a species of hedgehog native to much of Europe, and as far north as Scandinavia. It lives in a wide range of habitats and is well-known by Europeans because it is commonly seen in gardens. This hedgehog is insectivorous and feeds on beetles, slugs, and caterpillars.

European Badger

interesting animals in portugal

Name : European badger

Scientific name : Meles meles

Conservation status : Least concern

The European badger is a species of mustelid native to almost all of Europe and the Middle East. It has a large, stable population and a very wide range, which is why it is considered of least concern. This badger is one of the least carnivorous members of the order Carnivora , as it feeds on practically anything.

European Wildcat: An important part of fauna in Portugal

interesting animals in portugal

The European Wildcat is a small species of wildcat native to much of Europe. It inhabits forests and has gray, striped fur with a black-tipped tail. One of the main threats to the European wildcat in Portugal is interbreeding with feral cats, which disrupts the species as a whole and threatens its survival.

Name: European Wildcat

Scientific name : Felis silvestris

Conservation status : Least concern

The European Wildcat is a small species of wildcat native to much of Europe. It inhabits forests and has gray, striped fur with a black-tipped tail. Usually nocturnal, this wild cat in Portugal preys on rodents, small carnivores, and roe deer fawns in order to survive.

FAQS about Interesting Animals in Portugal

What animals are unique to Portugal?

Portugal’s diverse wildlife includes species like the Iberian Lynx, Portuguese Water Dog, Golden Eagle, Chameleon, Azure-Winged Magpie, Iberian Wolf, Common Genet, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Eurasian Otter, and Lusitanian Toadfish.

What animals live wild in Portugal?

Portugal boasts a remarkable array of wildlife, including over 36 mammal species, 25 reptile species, and 19 amphibian species.

What is the main animal of Portugal?

The Iberian Wolf and the rooster are the National Animals of Portugal.

What is special in Portugal?

Portugal’s uniqueness lies in its biodiversity, offering a chance to encounter rare creatures like the Iberian Lynx, Pyrenean Desman, and Portuguese Imperial Eagle.

Is the wildlife places in Portugal are the best to visit by adventure seekers?

Yes, most of the National Parks in Portugal have hiking and trekking trail routes.

What is the National Animal of Portugal?

Portugal’s national animal is the Iberian wolf.

Olivia Kepner