List of mammals of Madeira

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This is a list of mammals of Madeira, concerning the indigenous mammals of the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira in the North Atlantic ocean. Besides the mammals on the islands, the coastal waters are host to at least nine species of dolphins and ten species of migrating cetaceans. These are protected in the 430,000 km2 Madeiran 'Marine Mammal Sanctuary'.[1]

Conservation status listing and ranking system[edit]

The following tags are used to highlight each species' conservation status as assessed by the IUCN:

EX Extinct No reasonable doubt that the last individual has died.
EW Extinct in the wild Known only to survive in captivity or as a naturalized populations well outside its previous range.
CR Critically endangered The species is in imminent risk of extinction in the wild.
EN Endangered The species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
VU Vulnerable The species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
NT Near-threatened The species does not meet any of the criteria that would categorise it as risking extinction but it is likely to do so in the future.
LC Least-concern There are no current identifiable risks to the species.
DD Data deficient There is inadequate information to make an assessment of the risks to this species.

Some species were assessed using an earlier set of criteria. Species assessed using this system have the following instead of Near Threatened and Least Concern categories:

LR/cd Lower Risk/conservation dependent Species which were the focus of conservation programmes and may have moved into a higher risk category if that programme was discontinued.
LR/nt Lower Risk/near threatened Species which are close to being classified as Vulnerable but are not the subject of conservation programmes.
LR/lc Lower Risk/least concern Species for which there are no identifiable risks.

Order: Chiroptera (bats)[edit]

The bats' most distinguishing feature is that their forelimbs are developed as wings, making them the only mammals in the world naturally capable of flight. Bat species account for about 20% of all mammals.

Order: Carnivora (carnivorans)[edit]

A Mediterranean monk seal resting on a slipway

Carnivorans include over 260 species, the majority of which eat meat as their primary dietary item. They have a characteristic skull shape and dentition.

Order: Cetacea (whales)[edit]

A Bryde's Whale surfacing off Madeira during one of whale watching tours
A short-finned pilot whale breathing off Madeira
An Atlantic spotted dolphin swims near water surface off Madeira

The order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. They are the mammals most fully adapted to aquatic life with a spindle-shaped nearly hairless body, protected by a thick layer of blubber, and forelimbs and tail modified to provide propulsion underwater.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hoyt, Erich (2005). Marine protected areas for whales, dolphins, and porpoises: a world handbook for cetacean habitat conservation. Earthscan. p. 202. ISBN 1-84407-064-6. 
  2. ^ a b c Teixeira, Sérgio; Jesus, José (2009). "Echolocation Calls of Bats from Madeira Island: Acoustic Characterization and Implications for Surveys". Acta Chiropterologica. 11 (1): 183–190. doi:10.3161/150811009X465802. 
  3. ^ William L. R. Oliver, IUCN/SSC Pigs and peccaries specialist group, IUCN/SSC Hippo specialist group, eds. (1993). Pigs, peccaries and hippos: status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN. p. 53. ISBN 2-8317-0141-4.