Animals are also tourists on any island, usually arriving with settlers, as stowaways, shipwrecked voyagers, migrating or nesting species. Most common among the last on Skopelos are the herring gulls, yellow-legged gulls and great cormorants seen in the harbours and around fishing grounds. It is quite common to spot (or at least hear) the European scops owl, the common buzzard, various eagles, Eleonora’s falcon, grey herons, kestrels, vultures, and exotic visitors such as bee eaters and kingfishers. Keen-eared visitors may also hear and even see peacocks, introduced as pets a few years ago and happily breeding semi-wild.

Sheep and goats were introduced by the island’s earliest settlers, and are still prized for producing island feta and other cheeses. Sheep have been here long enough to have evolved into the “Skopelos Sheep” breed, while the goats are relatives of a rare breed found on the island of Gioura, east of Alonnisos. Rabbits and hares breed in wilder parts, although these will be more commonly encountered on a plate of stiffado. Pine martens, hedgehogs and several species of mice abound in uninhabited areas, and in both the towns and countryside tiny pipistrelle bats come out to feed at dusk.

Balkan wall and green lizards and terrapins are among the many island reptiles, as well as Montpellier, leopard, grass and whip snakes, many quite long but all harmless, although like the venomous horned viper, they are best left in peace.