Canary Islands, Spain
Canary Islands (Spain)
The Canary Islands are part of the Spanish Autonomous Communities. The archipelago is located in the eastern central Atlantic. The geographical region in which the Canary Islands are located is called Macaronesia. In addition to the Canary Islands also Cape Verde, the Azores, the Madeira Archipelago and the Ilhas Selvagens. In contrast to the Spanish on the mainland, Western European Time is valid in the Canary Islands.
A total of seven main islands and six minor islands belong to the archipelago. The main islands are Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro, the secondary islands Graciosa, Alegranza, Lobos, Montana Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste.
The smaller uninhabited rock islands are Anga, Salmor and Garachico. Life is not possible here due to the rocky nature.
The highest point of the island landscapes of the Canary Islands is the Pico del Teide. It is located on Tenerife and is 3,718 meters high. It is also the highest mountain in Spain.
Flora of the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are rich in vegetation. The biodiversity is particularly remarkable and characteristic of the entire region. A very high proportion of the plants consists of endemic species (ie, they only occur in the Canary Islands). It is believed that over 2,000 different plant species can currently be found in the Canary Islands. Of these, at least 514 are Canarian endemics. It has to be said that around 57 percent of these endemics can only be found on one of the Canary Islands.
The different islands also have different populations of plants. The regional and climatic differences are clearly noticeable in the growth stages of the individual plants.
Animals of the Canary Islands
Everyone knows the image of the numerous and colorful birds of the Canary Islands. The animal species on the archipelago consists mainly of birds and reptiles. The small Canary Lizard and the Western Canary Lizard are most common here. They are the most common reptile species in the archipelago.
The island of El Hierro has a special exception. The largest species of lizards in the archipelago, which are under nature protection, live here. The so-called Lagarto gigante reaches a length of up to 75 cm and is one of the subspecies of the prehistoric lizard species Gallotia simonyi simmonyi, which is already extinct. However, this species lives on in the successor animals.
Numerous wall geckos live in the Canaries. Incidentally, these are as common as all over Spain. They are actually very shy and harmless animals. There are no snakes on the islands. The large sea turtles, which prefer to stay in the coastal regions of the archipelago, are impressive. Many species of rays, angel sharks, swordfish, tuna, sea bream and parrot fish live in the marine region and the coastal waters. The biodiversity of the marine life is particularly rich and impressive. A total of 28 whale and dolphin species cavort in the seas of the Canary Islands.
However, the Canaries are famous for their bird diversity. The brightly colored and colorful plumage of the animals is a feast for the eyes. Overwall it buzzes and beeps on the islands.
Particularly the great spotted woodpeckers and the Canarian long-eared owls should be mentioned. The robin obviously feels very much at home here. In addition, many migratory birds stop here and stop on their way through.
El Hierro (Canary Islands)
El Hierro had many names. The Canary Islands used to be called Ferro or Isla del Meridiano. Today it is only called El Hierro. El Hierro is part of the Spanish Autonomous Community Canary Islands. The island is located in the Altantic Ocean and is at the westernmost point of the Canary Islands. It is the smallest of the 7 main islands and has an area of only 268.71 square kilometers on which almost 10,600 people currently live permanently.
El Hierro has been a biosphere reserve since. This status was given to the island by the UNESCO. The special project that surrounds the whole island is the plan that El Hierro will be the first in the world to be supplied exclusively by renewable energies by 2011. Scientists, researchers, donors and residents are currently working feverishly to make this idea a reality.
The history of El Hierro
Even in ancient times, the Canaries had something magical and paradisiacal for the people. There are many sagas and legends that promise that the Phoenicians used the islands as a “vacation spot”. The Greek poet Homer is often quoted. He writes that in the 8th century BC BC Hesoid defeated the “blessed islands on the edge of the world”. But no one can say with certainty whether he was referring to the Canary Islands. It is also not clear where the first settlers came from and when they reached the island.
There are several theories about this. Some say it was Romans and others say that it was emigrants who had to flee their old homeland from a famine and then ended up here. What one can say with certainty, however, is that the modern conquerors on the islands were intact, Stone Age cultures found when they arrived in the Canary Islands. The special thing about these cultures, however, was that they were completely isolated from the outside and even differed from one another from the other island cultures. A different culture prevailed on each island. So it can be said that the last stone age of the Canary Islands was only completed about 500 to 600 years ago. Traces of stone age circles can still be found today. These are stone circles that were used for gatherings and meetings.
Today it is assumed that El Hierro did not exist until the 5th century BC. Christ was settled. The Herrenos reached the steep cliffs of the coast with their boats and went ashore there with great effort. The connections to the other islands must have been extremely complex, because rowing against the currents is extremely exhausting. According to a legend, it was a woman from La Gomera who showed the Herrenos how to make a fire.
Linguistic researchers prove that Northwest Africans must have landed on the island. Linguistic similarities with Berbers from Maghreb and Libya should confirm this thesis.
From the 19th century, the Madrilenians began to be interested in El Hierro. The island served unloved politicians, military and free spirits from Madrid to banish. They were simply deported to the island. Whether that was a really harsh punishment remains questionable, because after all, the “lepers” were able to lead such a life in a wonderful landscape. The islanders at the time made their profit from the deportation campaign. So they got doctors and doctors to take care of them. They respected Dr. Leandro Perez especially because he was the first medic to reach the island.