Because the chaparral contains patches of other biomes in it, it also shares some of the same animals that the other biomes do. However, the chaparral also has animals that depend and live solely in the biome. In California, ground birds like the quail, wrentit, and thrasher live and nest in the protection of thick, low growing shrubs. In the fynbos, the protea seed-eater remains in the chaparral to feed on protea seeds.
One of the few mammals that remains in the confounds of the chaparral is the tiny grysbok. These small antelope live in the fynbos in South Africa. The grysbok weighs only 25 pounds (11 kilometers) and is 22 inches (56 centimeters) tall at the shoulder. The grysbok's small stature allows it to easily hide in the thick, short shrubs without getting stuck.
Some of the other chaparral inhabitants are visitors from other biomes. In the mallee scrub, wild dogs called dingoes roam freely. These scavengers can also be found in the grassland and temperate forest biome.
In the fynbos, most of the big game is gone because of development by humans. However, many, such as zebras, leopards, elephants, chacma baboons, and bonteback antelope, can still be found in chaparral nature preserves.
In Spain's Parque Nacional de Doñana, the endangered lynx still roams free in the delta of the Guadalquivir River and some mountainous areas. In the 1950's the lynx population dropped dramatically because the rabbits, which were their main food source, were wiped out by disease. Since then the lynx has adapted to hunt other rodents and ground birds for food. Their numbers are still low, only 1,000 remain in the world. Other animals in this park include the rare European wildcat, wild boars, red deer, and fallow deer.
The macchia of the Mediterranean islands of Sardinia and Corsica are home to the mouflou. Humans have pushed the mouflou, a European wild sheep, to these islands. Just recently, these animals have been reintroduced into the European mainland in game parks. The ibex, which is a wild goat, lives in Spain's mountains and on some eastern Mediterranean islands like Crete. They also live outside the chaparral biome in the Alps.
The California chaparral contains many diverse animals. There are a few large cat species that roam this chaparral. The mountain lion is a relatively shy animal that is easily scared by humans. However, when they are hungry or protecting their young, they are known to attack. They use the dense thickets of the chaparral to sneak up on the mule deer they eat. The bobcat, which tends to be more aggressive than the mountain lion, also finds the hiding places it needs too sneak up on its prey in the chaparral.
Another predator of the California chaparral is the coyote. Coyotes live in packs and together hunt brush rabbits and ground squirrels. A large number of hawks and eagles live in the chaparral. The California chaparral is home to many red-tailed hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, and the magnificent golden eagle. Golden eagles also live in Europe's macchia, along with imperial eagles and Bonelli's eagles. Hawks usually leave the chaparral when the weather becomes too hot and dry.
Other birds also make the chaparral their home in certain seasons. In the California chaparral large numbers of roadrunners and scrub jays are common. Birds are also very plentiful in the European chaparral, as well. Some birds that commonly visit are the nightjar, green woodpecker, stonechat, jackdaw, and cuckoo. In the macchia of Greece, birds like the black cap and the stone nuthatch visit the area.
Reptiles also live in the chaparral. In Europe, many snakes, like the Montpellier snake, leopard snake, and arrow snake, are abundant. Rattlesnakes are a fierce addition to the California chaparral. Rattlesnakes hunt at night using their incredible sense of smell and heat sensors that are located near their nose. Rattlesnakes eat large quantities of rodents like pesky rats and ground squirrels. Rattlesnakes are beneficial to the California chaparral because they keep rodent populations from getting out of control.