Fauna in the Genal Valley
The low human impact and non-destruction of natural habitats has also meant that fauna in the Genal Valley flourishes. Some 140 species of bird have been spotted in the area, whether year-round residents, winter or summer visitors, or migrants. They are found in three types of habitat: riverbanks, forests, and mountains.
Riverbanks in the Genal Valley enjoy dense vegetation and the water is crystalline. These are home to species such as the little ringed plover and the grey heron, plus the migrant sand martin, black stork, white-rumped swift and the white-throated dipper.
Away from water, in the woods and forest areas which are full of pine trees, chestnut trees, holm oaks and carob trees, the diversity of birds is even greater. This ranges from birds of prey of the likes of the short-toed and booted eagles who nest in the trees, insect eaters such as the Iberian chiff-chaff and Bonelli’s warbler.
Finally, seasonal fliers above the rocky crags in the Genal Valley, are the black kite, Egyptian vulture, harriers, the honey buzzard and the kestrel. Permanent residents include the Griffon vulture and the golden eagle.
Mammals are typically Mediterranean and, with the exception of the wolf, which disappeared in the 19th century, the same species flourish now as before. At the top end of the Genal Valley and in the Sierra Bermeja is the mountain goat, curiously easier to spot due to its increasing population. On the contrary, the roe deer, while fairly numerous, is famously difficult to see. Other animals include the wild boar and wild pig (domestic animals that have bred outside of captivity), deer, mufflon, mountain cat, badger, weasel, pine marten and mongoose.
With water having a major influence on the area, there are several species of amphibian, as well as fish such as trout.