The rich diversity of nature found in Gibraltar draws many visitors every year. High on the Rock live its most famous residents, the friendly, charming and inquisitiveBarbary apes, Europe’s only wild primates that have lived here for centuries. Legend holds that when the apes leave, Gibraltar will cease to be British.
Gibraltar is home to a wealth of plant life; palms and jacaranda, lavender and jasmine, clematis, honeysuckle, geraniums and bougainvillaea live side by side with rarer species,such as Gibraltar Candytuft and Gibraltar Sea Lavender.
In the seas around Gibraltar the diversity of life is yet more bountiful. Sailing into the bay, one will find their boat trailed by flying fish and leaping dolphins. Beneath the waves, divers will find reefs and wrecks teeming with colourful and exotic sea-life.
Every spring and autumn, the Rock becomes a staging post for hundreds of thousands of migrating birds as theytravel between Northern Europe and in Africa. Resident species such as peregrine falcons, blue rock thrush and Barbary partridge are joined by owls and eagles, harriers and hoopoes, buzzards and black kites.
Great efforts are made to preservethe beauty of theRock's natural environment for future visitors. Part of the upper rock has been designated as a nature reserve and work is underway to transform Gibraltar's famous public park, the Alameda Gardens, into a new, world-class botanical garden.