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Very often it is quite difficult to find much mention of insects in tourist guides to the island. That is for a reason: simply put, there is not enough of the insect life to be concerned about. There are no poisonous insects or animals on the main island or Porto Santo. The most abundant of insects are the normal garden variety: honey bees, flies, butterflies, fishmoths, and the odd small spider or two.

Maybe once in every ten or twenty years will a swarm of locusts fly over from the Sahara desert to Madeira by irregular winds. But this is such a rarity that it should not be taken into serious consideration.

Apart from insects there can be an abundance of small lizards in the sunnier and brighter parts of Madeira.

Larger fauna could include the odd goat or cow - like the goat on the levada in the picture opposite. There are falcons on the north coast of the island, they easily hunt one of the smaller variety of rodents such as field mice, or even larger animals such as wild rabbits.

The most abundant of fauna seems to be the pigeons in the city or urban areas. However, there is a protected species of pigeons endemic to the island in the Laurisilva Forest: the Columba Trocaz in Latin, or the long-toed pigeon. Please be very careful not to disturb the wildlife in their naturally protected environments of the island.

In the summer, or autumn you may want to bring an insect repellent to ward off the small mosquitoes that show up for a brief period of time - mostly only in the evening.

The beautiful view over a valley in São Jorge on the north side of the island of Madeira.