The island exhibits a wide variety of vegetation, some plant types are only to be found in the Canaries, and some only in Tenerife. There are large forests of Canarian Pine. In the dry south there are many species of cacti to be found. The Dragon tree can be widely found on the island, the oldest of which is to be found in Icod, said to be the oldest in the world. The Poinsettia, the popular christmas time plant, grows in a wild form in the north, in enormous shrubs.Also the Strelitsia, a slim, orange plant, is a popular souvenir for tourists.
Mammals are scarce on the island. The forest cat can be found around Teide and wild rabbits are to be found in the mountains. Conversely the bird world is rich. Some breeds are indigenous to the Canaries, the Teidefink for instance. There are wild canaries and parrots, as well as a number of different species of birds of prey. Finally there is a vast population of lizards, some of which are quite tame, but they are all happy to be fed.
In the ocean there are dolphins and whales are to be found in large numbers, especially in the strait between Tenerife and La Gomera, which is up to 3,000m deep. There is hardly an offshore place in the world where so many whales are resident.