Meloussa, land of cattle, was the name given to Minorca by the Greeks.The first mammal to have lived in Minorca of which we have notice of is the Myotragus Balearicus, a small endemic herbivore, which became extinct with the arrival of man. Meloussa, land of cattle, was the name given to Minorca by the Greeks.
The cows grazing calmly around the green fields, surrounded by dry stone walls, are an important part of the Minorcan landscape. These are the main source of the island’s animal farming and its milk is the prime material for the manufacture of the world famous cheese known as Mahón-Minorca cheese. They are mainly Frisian cows, but there are also other breeds such as the red cow; an autochthonous breed which adapts in an easier manner to the island’s environment.
The wild fauna is concentrated in the fountains, marshes , woods and gorges. Amongst small mammals we can find hedgehogs, martens, rabbits and ferrets while among the reptiles we can find lizards, tortoises and an odd snake, not poisonous.
There are a great number of ducks in the marsh areas, specially coots, although the presence of herons, cormorants and the fisher eagle can be seen. The northern cliff sides and gorges from the south are places for observing birds of prey such as the royal kite, the foot covered eagle and the peregrine falcon.
Amongst the huge variety of marine fauna, a mention for the sargo, the blenny, the guilthead , the oblada the envid(green fish), the barracuda and the lisas which swim into port in large schools.