Illustration by Dawn Cooper
1. Wolf, Sierra de la Culebra
Wolf © Ramn Carretero, EyeEm / Getty
This mountain chain close to the Portuguese border is said to have Spain’s highest-density wolf populations. Though the chances of seeing one are still quite low, you’ll have fun trying.
2. Lammergeier, Ordesa National Park
Lammergeier © scar Dez Martnez / Getty
With an estimated 55 pairs, the Spanish Pyrenees have Europe’s largest population
of this rare vulture. The feeding station at the Garganta de Escuaín may offer you close-up views.
3. Azure-winged magpie, Extremadura
Azure-winged magpie © Lorenzo López Photography / Getty
It may be common, but this is still one of Iberia’s most beautiful and iconic species. The magpies nest in back gardens in the birding hotspot of Extremadura.
4. Spanish ibex, Sierra de Gredos
Spanish ibex © John Cancalosi / Getty
This mountain range, which climbs to more than 2,400m, is a renowned hotspot for the Spanish ibex, as well as an impressive diversity of birds, reptiles and amphibians.
5. Pilot whale, Strait of Gibraltar National Park
Pilot whale © Gerard Soury / Getty
One of four cetacean species (with bottlenose, striped and common dolphins) thought to reside in this recently created natural park. Fin and sperm whales also pass through.
6. Iberian lynx, Sierra de Andújar National Park
Iberian lynx © Daniel Hernanz Ramos / Getty
This is considered the best place to see this endangered big cat. Much of the patchwork woodland of the area is privately owned, but there’s scope for watching wildlife from roads.