The Montes de Málaga Natural Park has typically Mediterranean fauna, with many species common to the south of Europe, although at the same time there are animals originating from northern climes. Its proximity to the Straits of Gibraltar has converted the province of Malaga, into one of the main birdlife migratory routes, therefore enriching the Natural Park, although temporarily, with African species.
Although more qualitative than quantitative, the richness in wildlife is impressive considering the short period of time that has passed since the area was converted from mainly agricultural to forest land (less than 50 years). The major drawback to further increases in numbers is the lack of water, particularly in summer, and the proximity of the city of Malaga. The most characteristic animal species to be found are: wild boar; polecats, foxes, weasels, genets, red squirrels, pine martens, rabbits, and several species of reptiles. There is also a strong community of birdlife, including one of largest populations of short-toed snake eagles in the province of Malaga, plus other birds of prey (both daytime and nocturnal), game birds, and permanent and migratory species.
Particularly noteworthy is the presence of the chameleon, a protected species. The Montes de Malaga Natural Park is privileged to be home to one of the largest populations in Europe of this difficult to spot animal.
Controlled hunting is permitted in fenced-off areas of the Natural Park and at specific times of year, of wild boars, rabbits, partridges, thrushes, turtledoves and woodpigeons.