Corfu is of course home to a great variety of mammals. The problem is that the wild ones are usually very shy and difficult to capture on photo or video. So. as soon as we get hold of some nice pictures or video we’ll put it up here. Hopefully, we will soon have a nice collection, but we can’t present a full list of the animals of Corfu here.
If you are walking around the island or driving home at night, or even in your own back yard, you have a good chance of coming across a hedgehog. They eat insects, worms, berries and fruits and even small snakes! They are very good to have in the garden as pest control.
If you get too close to them they curl up like a ball of spikes and are almost impossible to catch, but once they feel a little safer and try to make a run for it they are quite fast and very, very cuddly!
Bats are everywhere on Corfu, only very few people see them! The sort of bat that lives on Corfu has a body that’s just a few (3-5) centimeters long and a wingspan of about 20 cm. They feed on insects, they hide during the day and come out to hunt at dusk. They live not only in caves but also under the rooftiles of most houses. They are very useful to the ecosystem as they help pollinate flowers and keep the insect population under control. People have learned to be afraid of bats but if you get to see a Corfu bat close up I think you will find them quite cute with their soft, furry, big ears and black eyes…!
One of the fiercest predators of Corfu is the Beech marten or Stone marten. In Greek it’s called “kounavi” and while it’s no bigger than a cat it can create a lot of damage. Martens tend to sneek into hencoops to hunt. The problem is that once they get in there and are noticed by the hens, the hens make a lot of noise and the marten panics as well. The only way to stop the noise is to kill every single chicken in the coop! This has inspired stories that say that martens kill all chickens just to suck their blood but this is obviously not true…! You have a good chance of seeing a marten crossing a country road in the headlights of your car at night. During the day martens are shy and are very rare to spot but our friend Stamatis Ghinis managed to find and photograph a fine specimen!
And here are some more rare pictures of an animal that’s barely ever seen, as it spends almost all its life underground. Yes, also on Corfu there are moles. They eat mostly earthworms, live in underground burrows they dig and their eyes are covered by skin and fur (hence “as blind as a mole”)!