The wild fauna of the Serra de Tramuntana includes many endemic species, and is determined by the dual insularity that results from the existence of this mountainous area, isolated from the rest of the region, within an island. Since this is one of the areas least affected by recent human activity, species that are under severe threat in other parts of Mallorca have managed to survive here.

The harsh relief and characteristics of the vegetation have favoured a peculiar evolution in some groups. This phenomenon is most remarkable in the case of cave-dwelling invertebrates – of a total of 125 species on Mallorca, 94 are found in cavities in the Serra de Tramuntana.

In the case of vertebrates, the best representatives are found amongst the most endangered fauna, such as the osprey or the cinereous vulture. The most characteristic endemism, and a symbol of the fragility of the ecosystems, is the ferreret or Mallorcan midwife toad, a minute amphibian which only lives in temporary accumulations of water in the island’s karstic canyons.

  • Osprey - Pandion haliateus

Category: Protected species

Geographical area: Sa Dragonera Natural Park, S'Albufera de Mallorca Natural Park, Cabrera Archipelago National Park. Salt marshes, peat bogs and cliffs in some areas of Mallorca.

Its body is designed for fishing: long legs and short toes with a rough inside to better hold the prey, facing each other two by two - and not three by one, like other birds of prey. The legs have prehensile tendons that keep the talons tightly closed. It fishes at sea, in reservoirs and wetlands such as lagoons and salt marshes. It only feeds on fish weighing no more than half a kilo. It is a migratory bird, some specimens spend the winter in the Balearic Islands, and nest in Mallorca and Cabrera.

  • Cinereous vulture - Aegypius monachus

Category: Protected species

Geographical area: Serra de Tramuntana

The cinereous vulture is unmistakeable because of its size and its tranquil, majestic flight. Totally black in colour – jet black in younger specimens and a chocolaty tone in adults – it has light plumage on the head and neck. Its beak is curved, robust and powerful. It is not unusual to see them gliding slowly high above the peaks of the Serra de Tramuntana, their wings outstretched or slightly gathered if they are flying into the wind. They fly alone or in pairs, but gather in groups to search for food.

  • Mallorcan midwife toad - Alytes muletensis

Category: Protected species and endemic species

Geographical area: Serra de Tramuntana

Four centimetres in length and 5 grams in weight, the ferreret or Mallorcan midwife toad is an amphibian that is endemic to the Serra de Tramuntana mountains and lives only in certain seasonal water courses, trapped inside ravines with vertical walls. It moves nimbly around this harsh environment, climbing up the rockface. Its head is developed, its body stylized and it has a pale background colour and its back is splattered with dark markings. During the day it rests near the water, hidden in small cracks in the rocks; at night it comes out to look for food, above all small insects and animals that live under the stones, or the vestiges of the plants which fall into the pools of rainwater. It is the rarest amphibian in Europe, and is in danger of extinction.

  • Invertebrates

Invertebrates are an important fauna group in the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, with numerous endemic species, outstanding from among which we have the Timarcha balearica. This is a species of beetle which is black or metallic green, has no wings and is a herbivore. It is known locally as the monja or escarabat de sang (blood beetle), because it secretes a reddish substance when it feels threatened.

Of the 125 cave-dwelling invertebrate species on the island which only live in caves, 94 are found in cavities in the Serra de Tramuntana.

Related information

  • Balearic Catalogue of Protected Species


Serra de Tamuntana Consortium


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