Tenerife enjoys a remarkable ecological diversity despite its small size, resulting from special environmental conditions, rugged terrain and the prevailing weather conditions in locally modify general microclimates.
The existence of these microclimates create natural habitats evident in the island vegetation of a rich diverse and varied flora over 1400 species of higher plants including 200 endemic of the Canarios and 140 species exclusively Tenerife.
This wealth of some 140 plant unique species on the island of Tenerife is the highest ratio of endemic flora in the Macaronesia area. The same has happened in the creation of many and varied soil conditions through different chemical composition, rocks of different materials that built the volcanic island and the action of climatic factors.
The combination of these agents determines the presence of multiple habitats that harbour, many plant and animal communities making this unique ecosystem of Tenerife.
The study of flora and fauna of Tenerife can be done in a more orderly manner by studying the different ecological zones as well as North and South and altitude of the island. It can be a great idea to use a tourist provider such as teide trips to most interesting parts of the islands.
The Cardonal – tabaibal is 0 to 700 m characterized by strong sunshine and low rainfall and the tabaibas plant species of cactus and cardoncillos, bejeques with mainly insect’s birds and reptiles.
The Thermophile forest is 200 – 600 m aboce sea level and this deck has more moisture and precipitation, and less sunshine, therefore the important flora are palm trees, the junipers, the olive trees and endemics like Peralillo, guaidiles, espaneros, mauves of cliff and cineraria.
The fauna is the butterfly vanessa Vulcania and insectivorous birds such as the warbler cabecinegra and capirote.
Gallotia endemic species of Tenerife and The Laurel at 500 – 1000 m which is a dense forest of large trees, descendants of the flora of the Tertiary period grow in the areas of abundant rainfall and frequent mists.
The Higher plant species that are abundant are laurels, lime trees, vinatigos, barbusanos, and other smaller species like bicacaro, the cockscomb, the knotweeds and a variety of ferns. Regarding the fauna invertebrates are the highest percentage of endemic species, including worms, molluscs and arthropods.
The vertebrates include a few bats and two species of endemic birds in danger of extinction, a pigeon and rabiche turque.
The Fayal-heath is 1000 – 1500 m band and this is also a forest, but in this case, dry and poor in species homing the floristically fayas, heather, acebinos and many species of mushrooms that can be both edible and very poisonous.
The Pinar is 800 – 2000 m with forests of pines characterized by an increase in isolation and less uniformity in day-night and seasonal temperatures. The highest stands of trees are the Canary Island pine. The fauna is not diverse, but there are two beautiful birds such as chaffinch and blue beak woodpecker.
The High Mountain above 2,000 m has a dry climate, heat and high temperatures. Despite these challenging conditions, endemic plants grow there of great scientific importance and beauty as tajinastes, brooms, codes, Teide violet and invertebrate animal species of beetles, bugs, and butterflies.
Marine life abounds with Salem, Samas, snappers, loggerhead turtle and permanent colonies of whales and dolphins that inhabit the shoreline south of the island. Tenerife has a faunal inventory amounting to 56 species of birds, 13 mammals, 5 reptiles, thousands of invertebrates, 2 amphibians and 400 fish species along with some sea turtles and cetaceans.