Fuerteventura Squirrels or Fuerteventura Chipmunks




The Fuerteventura squirrels are found pretty much all over the island. Their correct name is the Barbary Ground Squirrel which are endemic to Western Sahara, Algeria and Morocco. They were introduced into Fuerteventura in 1965 and have thrived ever since. Many people refer to them as chipmunks or Fuerteventura chipmunks, which they do resemble.

Next to goats they are probably the most common animals of Fuerteventura, perhaps even more common. They live in colonies and family groups in burrows. I don’t know how they survive in the summer to be honest, when there is no water and little vegetation.

They are extremely friendly and very cute. They take food out of your hand and I have never known one to bite. I think they are definitely my favourite type of wildlife of Fuerteventura.

Fuerteventura ground squirrels or fuerteventura chipmunks
A Fuerteventura ground squirrel enjoying some apple

The local councils are trying to stop people feeding the Fuerteventura squirrels as they are considered “introduced vermin”. Well every living thing in Fuerteventura has evolved elsewhere and ended up here so perhaps that should apply to all animals – especially man! My advice is ignore the notices and carry on feeding them.

Fuerteventura Squirrels at the Volcano

I filmed this at the top of a volcano near Lajares in the north of Fuerteventura, not far from Corralejo, which can be seen in the background of the video. The walk up there was also filmed, to show how to get to the viewing platform. Unfortunately the camera didn’t record it. So I guess I will make a follow up video showing how to get there. Still the exercise will do me good. It takes about 45-50 minutes to walk from the road between Lajares and Majanicho.. I guess I will have to take some more food and water for the cute chipmunks of Fuerteventura.

See how cute the squirrels are by watching the video below:

Watch the video in Youtube

Fuerteventura: Guided Calderón Hondo Volcano Tour

4 responses to “Fuerteventura Squirrels or Fuerteventura Chipmunks”

  1. Major Woody avatar
    Major Woody

    “My advice is to ignore the notices and carry on feeding them”.
    And your “advice” is based on WHAT exactly? Any knowledge on how invasive species change the ecosystems they have been introduced to? Obviously not. Just speking from a gut feeling because these squirrels are sooo cute. Yes they are cute. And they are a MAJOR problem for a whole host of other species.
    So please inform yourself properly and stop spreading “advices” that are really ill-informed. Thanks!

    1. admin avatar

      Every living thing on Fuerteventura is an introduced species, either by man, the wind or the sea. Some have just been here longer than others. Man is the biggest problem not the squirrels. Crawl back in your hole you self-righteous prat.

  2. Mandy avatar

    It’s not the squirrels fault they are invasive, they are also the highlight of my holiday and one of the reasons I’ll be going back there.They don’t deserve to suffer,I fed them cucumber,apple and gave them water,they are really grateful. MAN is invasive and ruins everything on earth.

    1. JP in Fuerteventura avatar
      JP in Fuerteventura

      I agree. Everything on these islands came from somewhere else orignally.

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