Due mainly to its geographic location in the Atlantic, theoretically halfway between Europe and America, the Azores are a must stop for many migratory birds that, in their long transatlantic crossings, take time to rest, not only in the lagoons and coasts of Azorean islands, but also in most of the islanders that surround them, even nesting some of them in these places.
Although the Azores do not have an endemic fauna in the true sense of the word, there are species that, due to the geographic isolation of the islands, have adapted to them and therefore have their own characteristics, essentially of color, size and shapes, which distinguish them. some of them, subspecies of the Region.
The celebrated St. Michael Rowing Dog is a great herder of flocks and a familiar presence in the landscape. The herds of cattle were freeing in 1439, which made them wild. That’s why the “cow dogs” – “Queue Dogs” – appeared to collect the herds. It is a rustic, strong dog, an overnight stay every year, is intelligent, loyal, obedient, always bites down to not injure the cow’s udder. They are more or less 55 cm high and between 25 to 35 kg, short fur, square head and very strong jaw. It is a very important genetic heritage and was recognized by the Portuguese Caniculum Club on 1984.
Characterized by the predominance of avifauna species, in the class of Birds, it is worth noting the existence of the priôlo (Pyrrhula pyrrhula murina), an endemic species of the Azores in times considered extinct, whose only habitat currently known is confined to the Serra da Tronqueira, Pico da Vara, island of São Miguel.
In addition to this, species such as kite, burnt or round-winged eagle (Buteo buteo), coryrotris diomedea, serinus canarius, blackbird (Turdus merula), pigeon (Sterna hirundo and S.dougallii) and the gull (Larus argentatus), are among some of the birds that can be observed.
In the class of mammals can be mentioned the existence of the weasel (Mustela nivalis) of the hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) and the wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), this without a doubt the most abundant species of the class and the most important hunting species of the region.
In the field of Ichthyofauna that occurs in the inland waters of the islands, it is to be mentioned that only in some of the lagoons and streams of the islands of São Miguel and Flores there are fish species with interest for sport fishing, namely trout, fario and rainbow (Salmo trout and Oncorhynchus mykiss), lucius (Esox lucius), carpa (Cyprinus carpio), perch (Perca fluviatilis), sandre (Stizostedion lucioperca) and ruivo (Rutilus rutilus).