Wildlife in Portugal | A Detailed Guide [Updated: 2022]

Published Categorized as Portugal
Wildlife in Portugal

This post was most recently updated on September 27th, 2022

Portugal has a wide range of wildlife. From Snakes to Bears, Ticks to Sharks, Portugal is home to a diverse range of animals, birds, and reptiles. Today in this article, we will try to cover almost everything there is to know about the wildlife in Portugal.

Read the article till the end to have a better understanding of Wildlife in Portugal.

Are there Sharks in Portugal?

Are there Sharks in Portugal

Yes, there are Sharks in Portugal. A few numbers of sharks have been spotted in Portugal in the last few decades. There are around 40 shark species in Portugal. Most of the shark species are listed as endangered.

Are sharks common in Portugal?

Yes, sharks are commonly seen in Portugal waters. There is no need to panic because sharks are there mainly to breed and hunt small fishes.

Are there great white sharks in Portugal?

The great white shark also known as the white pointer shark can be found in coastal surface waters of all major oceans. There are great white sharks in Portugal too. Great white sharks are decreasing in numbers and are rare due to years of being hunted by man for fins and teeth, and often as a trophy for sport fishing.

What kinds of Sharks could be found in Portugal waters?

There are different species of sharks that could be found in Portugal. Some of them are as follows:

  • Mako Shark
  • Rays Shark
  • Hammerhead Shark
  • Great White Shark
  • Sandbar Shark
  • Angelshark
  • Angular rough shark
  • Atlantic catshark

Where are there sharks in Portugal?

Sharks in Portugal are mainly found in the waters of Madeira and the Azores. Several sightings have been caught on camera over recent years.

What type of sharks are there in Algarve?

Mainly hammerhead sharks are spotted along the Algarve coast. Experts suggest that the species is not considered dangerous and normally feeds off sardines, mackerel, and tuna.

Has there ever been a shark attack in Portugal?

shark attack in Portugal

There have been a total of 3 shark attacks in Portugal. Out of those, 2 have unfortunately been fatal which brings the percentage of fatal attacks to 66.67%. The shark attack was provoked by humans. People who died were a 19 years old Fernando Branco de Abreu and a 23 years old Manuel Pereira. Fernando was attacked by a shark in Sao Jorge, Madeira Island and Manuel was attacked in Funchal.

Both of the attacks were more than 40 years ago, back in 1979 and 1956, during fishing trips.

Are there Sharks in Faro Portugal?

No Sharks have been spotted in Faro Portugal.

Are there Sharks in Peniche Portugal?

Sharks haven’t been spotted near Peniche, but a shark attack was happened 150 km west of Peniche. A 55 years old man was fishing and was bitten by a shark on his leg. First aid was administered on the ship and the bleeding was controlled. However, the wound was severe enough that immediate medical treatment was needed.

Are there Sharks in Nazare Portugal?

Yes, there are Sharks in Nazare Portugal. The commonly spotted shark in Nazare is the great white shark. Victims are usually attacked by sharks while surfing, snorkeling, boating, swimming, and diving.

Are there Sharks in Albufeira?

Yes, there are sharks in Albufeira. The most frequently seen sharks in Albufeira are the hammerhead shark, the blue shark, and the Mako shark.

Are there Dolphins in Portugal?

Are there Dolphins in Portugal

Yes, there are Dolphins in Portugal. The commonly found Dolphins in Portugal are the Bottlenose Dolphin, the Striped Dolphin, the Harbor Porpoise, and the Risso’s Dolphin.

Where can I watch dolphins in Portugal?

You can see dolphins in Portugal in the following places.

  • Madeira
  • Sao Miguel Island
  • Pico Island
  • Albufeira
  • Lagos
  • Benagil
  • Parque Natural da Arrabida
  • Terceira Island

Are there Dolphins in Algarve?

Yes, you can see Dolphins in Algarve. There are mainly 5 kinds of dolphins you can see in Algarve Portugal. The most common dolphin species that can be found near the Algarve coast are the Common dolphin, the Bottlenose dolphin, the Striped dolphin, the Harbor Porpoise, and the Risso’sdolphin.

What time of the year do you see Dolphins?

Dolphin watching is one of the most fun things to do in Portugal. You can see dolphins from June to September in Portugal. Dolphins are most active at the crack of dawn, between 10 am and noon, and from 2 pm till dusk. A great pair of telephoto lenses or binoculars can be invaluable tools to spot dolphins easily.

Where can I swim with dolphins in Portugal?

Where can I swim with dolphins in Portugal

You can swim with dolphins at Algarve Zoomarine in Portugal. You can choose between 2 unique experiences offered: the Dolphin Emotions Premium and the Dolphin Emotions Exclusive package.

The Dolphin Emotions Premium experience begins with an informative discussion on interesting and important facts about the bottlenose dolphin.

The Dolphin Emotions Exclusive package is a private experience, where 2 participants under the supervision of a trainer, will enjoy interaction with dolphins. During the whole experience, participants will be accompanied by an instructor, who will be able to answer their questions.

How much does it cost to swim with dolphins in Portugal?

The cost to swim with dolphins in Portugal depends upon what kind of ticket you want to book. Usually, the cost is around 100 Euro to 150 Euro.

Are there Snakes in Portugal?

Are there Snakes in Portugal

Portugal is home to 12 species of Snakes, out of which two vipers are very dangerous and poisonous. Two dangerous snakes are: Vipera Seoanei and Vipera Latastei. 

The 12 kinds of snakes found in Portugal are as below.

  1. Grass snake
  2. Smooth snake
  3. Vipers
  4. Natrix Maura
  5. Vipera Seoanei
  6. Ladder snake
  7. Horseshoe whip snake
  8. Western False smooth snake
  9. Coronella girondica
  10. Colubrid Snakes
  11. Vipera Latastei
  12. Malpolan Monspessulanus

Are there poisonous snakes in Algarve?

Yes, there are poisonous snakes in Algarve. Vipera Latastei has been spotted in Algarve multiple times. On June 14, 2019, a 10-year boy was attacked by Vipera Latastei. Usually, this kind of snake resides in more remote areas.

Are there snakes in Albufeira?

Yes, Albufeira has snakes. Grass snakes and Ladder snakes have been seen in Albufeira many times. No snake attack has been recorded in Albufeira till date.

Snakes in Sintra Portugal

Yes, there are poisonous snakes in Algarve. Vipera Seoanei has been spotted in Algarve multiple times. Usually, this kind of snake resides in more remote areas.

Are there Turtles in Portugal?

Are there Turtles in Portugal

Yes, there are turtles in Portugal. There are 8 types of Turtles in Portugal. Portugal has two types of native turtles. One is the Mediterranean pond turtle, and another is the European Pond turtle.

The 8 types of Turtles found in Portugal are as below.

  1. Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas)
  2. Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
  3. Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)
  4. Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)
  5. Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)
  6. European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis)
  7. Red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta)
  8. Mediterranean pond turtle (Mauremys leprosa)

Where can you see turtles in Portugal?

You can see turtles in Portugal in the Algarve. The Algarve is a nice place to see turtles as well as dolphins and whales.

Are there Jellyfish in Portugal?

Are there Jellyfish in Portugal

Yes, there are jellyfish in Portugal waters. The most commonly found jellyfish in Portugal is Catostylus tagi. It is easily sighted near ports and marinas, particularly near the Tagus and Sado Rivers. It is a sizeable species, and its sting is considered mild.

Does the Algarve have jellyfish?

Yes, the Algarve has jellyfish. The region has all-year-round sunshine, making the beach ideal for jellyfish.

Are Portuguese jellyfish poisonous?

The tentacles contain stinging nematocysts, microscopic capsules loaded with coiled, barbed tubes that deliver venom capable of paralyzing and killing small fish and crustaceans. However, it’s not deadly to humans.

Are there Mosquitoes in Portugal?

Are there Mosquitoes in Portugal

Yes, Portugal has Mosquitoes.
Why are there so many mosquitoes in Portugal? Portugal has warm weather for almost 8 months a year. During that time, mosquitoes get a preferable environment to grow. The mosquito season begins in Portugal at the start of April and lasts till the end of November.

Even though it’s cold during the nights in October/November, the days are still sunny and warm. Not all, but some of the species of mosquitoes in Portugal can survive if the days are still warmer.

Are mosquitoes a problem in the Algarve?

It’s kind of. Algarve has a high number of mosquitoes compared to other places in Portugal. During summer, you will get to see a lot of mosquitoes in Algarve.

Are there mosquitoes in Lisbon and Madeira?

Yes, Lisbon and Madeira have mosquitoes. Lisbon and Madeira have warm and humid weather for almost 8 months a year, which gives mosquitoes a preferable environment to grow.

Are there Mosquitoes in Albufeira and Porto?

Portugal has mosquitoes all over the country, including Albufeira and Porto. They aren’t often seen in the daytime, but they come in bulk during the nighttime.

Can you catch Malaria in Portugal?

Yes, you can catch Malaria in Portugal. Malaria was considered eliminated entirely in 1973, but you can still see some cases of Malaria in Portugal. With the increasing human mobility from countries with endemic malaria to Portugal, there is a chance foreigners bring Malaria with them.

Are there bears in Portugal?

Are there Bears in Portugal

Yes, Portugal has bears but not many. A brown bear was spotted in Portugal in 2019 which was officially considered extinct by the IUCN. According to the experts, “The bear sighted in Portugal probably comes from the western population of the Cantabrian Mountains (Spain)”.

The animal was spotted in the Montesinho Natural Park and Braganca commune in northeastern Portugal.
The town of Braganca is about 20km from the Spanish border.

“The last reports of a stable presence of brown bears in Portugal are between the 18th and the end of the 19th century. They then died out,” the ICNF said.

Are there Wolves in Portugal?

Are there Wolves in Portugal

Yes, there are wolves in Portugal. Studies estimate that the wolf population within Portugal is between 250-300, occurring mainly in the north and center of the country. The Côa Valley in Portugal is one of the best places to spot wildlife, including the Iberian wolf. This species is under threat, but the small population can still be seen roaming around in this natural corridor at the end of the country’s famous wine route.

The Iberian wolf is a subspecies of the grey wolf. It inhabits the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, which includes northwestern Spain and northern Portugal.

Are there Crocodiles in Portugal?

Are there Crocodiles in Portugal

No crocodiles have been spotted in Portugal yet. But there are a lot of crocodiles in Spain, and experts suggest that Crocodiles might migrate from Spain to Portugal in the future.

Are there Hedgehogs in Portugal?

Are there Hedgehogs in Portugal

Yes, Portugal has Hedgehogs. The Hedgehog found in Portugal is a West European Hedgehog. You can see them in your garden or around tall grasses. The hedgehogs are easily recognized by their spines while gymnures look more like large rats. Insects and other invertebrates are the hedgehog’s main natural food source.

It is a generally common and widely distributed species that can survive across a wide range of habitat types. It is a well-known species, and a favorite in European gardens, both for its endearing appearance and its preference for eating a range of garden pests.

Are there Foxes in Portugal?

Are there Foxes in Portugal

Yes, there are foxes in Portugal. Foxes can be found throughout Portugal mostly living in the forests or agricultural areas. You can see foxes around your house searching for food or water. You don’t need to panic as the foxes in Portugal are not dangerous.

Foxes can be friendly and are not a threat to humans. However, foxes are wild animals, they are unpredictable and will always revert to their wild nature in a situation where they feel threatened.

Are there foxes in the Algarve?

Yes, there are foxes in Algarve. You can mainly see Red Fox in the Algarve area. They are easy to recognize. Small/medium-sized with a pointy face, black-lined ears and paws, and usually a reddish-brown color with a white underbelly and a long tufty white-tipped tail.

Are there Tigers or Lions in Portugal?

Are there Tigers in Portugal

Portugal neither has tigers nor lions in the jungles. Tigers and Lions were used in the Circus, but that’s banned now. If you are a tourist in Portugal, you don’t need to worry about coming in contact with a lion or a tiger.

Are there Elephants in Portugal?

Are there Elephants in Portugal

Yes, there are Elephants in Portugal but they are very few in number. Elephants are in Portugal for a very long time in the past. Currently, Elephants can be found in the national park and conservation areas in Portugal.

Are there Alligators in Portugal?

Are there Alligators in Portugal

No Alligators have been spotted in Portugal yet. But there are a lot of Alligators in Spain, and experts suggest that Alligators might migrate from Spain to Portugal in the future.

Are there Penguins in Portugal?

No, Portugal doesn’t have Penguins.

Are there Deer in Portugal?

Are there Deer in Portugal

Yes, there are deer in Portugal. You can get to see deer in Portugal almost all over the country. The roe deer is a small deer native to Portugal and one of the main prey of the Iberian wolf.

What kind of deer are in Portugal?

The type of deer found in Portugal are: The large red deer, the Smaller Fallow deer, Dama Dama, and the small roe deer.

Are there Camels in Portugal?

No, Portugal doesn’t have Camels.

Are there Monkeys in Portugal?

Not in the jungle, but monkeys are there in the Lisbon Zoo. You can watch the following videos to see for yourself.

Are there Squirrels in Portugal?

Are there Squirrels in Portugal

Yes, Portugal has Squirrels. Red squirrels have moved back in from Spain and recolonized forests in the north of the country. In 2020, a new virus called Adenovirus was killing Red Squirrels in Portugal. The situation is under control now.

Are there Raccoons in Portugal?

Raccoons are there in Portugal but not in huge numbers.

Are there Badgers in Portugal?

Are there Badgers in Portugal

Yes, Portugal has European Badgers. Badgers are found in at least 107 places in all over Portugal from the southern coastal region to the northern areas, from the western coast to the eastern border of Spain.

The European badger is a powerfully built, black, white, brown, and grey animal with a small head, a stocky body, small black eyes, and a short tail. Its weight varies, being 7–13 kg (15–29 lb) in spring, but building up to 15–17 kg (33–37 lb) in autumn before the winter sleep period. The European badger is native to most of Europe.

The European badger is found in deciduous and mixed woodlands, clearings, spinneys, pastureland, and scrub.

Are there wild cats or Lynx in Portugal?

Are there wild cats or Lynx in Portugal

Yes, there are Lynx in Portugal but not in huge numbers. A pair of Iberian lynxes were reintroduced into the wild in Portugal in 2015.

Like other lynxes, the Iberian lynx has a short tail, long legs, tufted ears, and fur projecting around the neck area that looks like a beard. The cat’s preferred habitat is scrub (woody plants and small trees) and its primary prey (90%) is rabbit. The Iberian lynx is listed as critically endangered by several organizations, including the IUCN.

Are there Geckos in Portugal?

Yes, there are Geckos in Portugal. In Portugal, there are two species, the larger and lighter Tarentola mauritanica, which is found in Southern Europe, and the Hemidactylus turcicus, which is mostly found in the Algarve and Alentejo regions.

Are there Coyotes in Portugal?

Yes, there are Coyotes in Portugal. One was last time seen in 2016 in Neary’s Pond area.

Are there Mongoose in Portugal?

Are there Mongoose in Portugal

Yes, there are Mongooses in Portugal. The Mongoose is a type of Egyptian Mongoose. The Egyptian mongoose’s long, coarse fur is grey to reddish brown and ticked with brown and yellow flecks. Its snout is pointed, and its ears are small. Its slender body is 48–60 cm (1 ft 7 in – 2 ft 0 in) long with a 33–54 cm (1 ft 1 in – 1 ft 9 in) long black-tipped tail. Its hind feet and a small area around the eyes are furless.

Are there Iguanas in Portugal?

No, there are no Iguanas in Portugal. No Iguanas has been spotted till date in Portugal.

Are there Possums in Portugal?

No, there are no Possums in Portugal. No Possums have been spotted till date in Portugal.

Are there Pelicans in Portugal?

Are there Pelicans in Portugal

Yes, there are Pelicans in Portugal. The type of Pelican found in Portugal is the pink-backed Pelican.

It is a relatively small pelican, although by no means is it a small bird. Its length is from 125 to 155 cm (49 to 61 in), wingspan is 2.15–2.9 m (7.1–9.5 ft) and body mass is from 4 to 7 kg (8.8 to 15.4 lb). The bill is 30 to 38 cm (12 to 15 in) in length.

The pink-backed pelican is found in a range of aquatic habitats, but prefers quiet backwaters with shallow water, avoiding steep, vegetated lake banks. It prefers freshwater lakes, swamps, large slow-flowing rivers, and seasonal pools but also frequents reservoirs, seasonally flooded land, and flood plains near rivers.

Are there sloths in Portugal?

As of 2020, there was a sloth in Portugal that was moved from Ocean Park in Hong Kong to Algarve. Sloths are the slowest group of animals in the world. They only move 38 meters per day on average and spend around 16 hours of the day sleeping, hence their name “Sloth”.

Are there venomous spiders in Portugal?

Portugal is home to over 800 species of spider but the vast majority of these will cause you no harm. Of these, just two species are dangerously venomous. These are capable of causing serious harm but usually, your body deals with the bite and you can recover quickly.

How common are spiders in Portugal?

In the colder months, it’s very common to come across spiders in Portugal. After all, there are 800 native species in the country. During the summer, however, spiders hide from the heat and you’re less likely to spot any.

Are there Scorpions in Portugal?

Are there Scorpions in Portugal

Yes, there are Scorpions in Portugal. The only existing scorpion species in Portugal is the Buthus ibericus; its sting typically causes local symptoms with intense pain, and its treatment consists essentially of analgesia.

Are there Vultures in Portugal?

Yes, there are vultures in Portugal. The most commonly found vulture in Portugal is a Griffon vulture. It is also known as the Eurasian griffon. The griffon vulture is 93–122 cm (37–48 in) long with a 2.3–2.8 m (7.5–9.2 ft) wingspan. The maximum recorded lifespan of the griffon vulture is 41.4 years for an individual in captivity.

In Portugal, a few hundred pairs of griffons nest, but their distribution is strongly asymmetric. The main areas of reproduction are located in the northeast (Douro International), which is home to more than half of the Portuguese population.

Are there Owls in Portugal?

Are there Owls in Portugal

Yes, there are owls in Portugal. Portugal is home to 9 species of owls. The most commonly found owls in Portugal are Barn Owls. The other eight owls are as follows:

  1. Eurasian scops-Owl
  2. Eurasian eagle-Owl
  3. Snowy Owl
  4. Little Owl
  5. Tawny Owl
  6. Long-eared Owl
  7. Short-eared Owl
  8. Marsh Owl

Snowy Owl is mainly found in the Azores only.

Are there Hummingbirds in Portugal?

No, there are no Hummingbirds in Portugal. Hummingbirds are mainly found in North America and South America. Keeping them in captivity is extremely difficult.

Are there Bats in Portugal?

Are there Bats in Portugal

There are 21 species of Bats found in Portugal. They are: Common Pipistrelle, Greater mouse-eared bat, Common bent-wing Bat, Whiskered Bat, Soprano Pipistrelle, European free-tailed Bat, Lesser mouse-eared Bat, Brown long-eared Bat, Lesser Noctule, Daubenton’s Bat, Kuhl’s Pipistrelle, Geoffroy’s Bat, Serotine Bat, Common Noctule, Greater Noctule Bat, Escalera’s Bat, Western Barbastelle, Bechstein’s Bat, Azores Noctule, Alcathoe Bat, Madeira Pipistrelle.

Are there bats in Lisbon or the Algarve?

Yes, there are bats in Lisbon and the Algarve. Bats are found all over Portugal.

Are there Eagles in Portugal?

Are there Eagles in Portugal

Yes, there are eagles in Portugal. The most commonly seen Eagle in Portugal is the Golden Eagle. The other Eagles found in Portugal are: Short-Toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Spanish Imperial Eagle, and Osprey Eagle.

Are there Cockroaches in Portugal?

Cockroaches love Portugal. Cockroaches can be found all over Portugal. As Portugal is warm most of the year, Cockroaches get a chance to breed and grow.

Cockroaches are one of the main infestations in Portugal. Not only do they multiply in dirty places, but they can also come in packaging from abroad, cracks, and sewers. Cockroaches are very common in Lisbon.

Are there Fleas and Ticks in Portugal?

Yes, there are Fleas and Ticks in Portugal. Both fleas and ticks are very common in Portugal, especially in spring and summer.

You may also like to read:

Is Tattoo allowed in Portugal?

Can you flush toilet paper in Portugal?

Is it safe to drink tap water in Portugal? 

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