Desertas Islands Nature Reserve

Desertas Islands Nature Reserve

Three small islands to the southeast of the island of Madeira, where we can find an extremely valuable natural and ecological heritage.
Those are Ilhéu Chão, Deserta Grande and Bugio, which altogether form part of the Desertas Islands Nature Reserve.


Of volcanic origin, the Desertas Islands present an extensive coastline.
The geological magnificence of these places is remarkable, with their sloped escarpments.
This ecosystem hosts a great biological diversity and is one of the last strongholds of the famous Mediterranean monk-seal.


In addition, the Desertas Islands Nature Reserve is an important nesting centre for seabirds.
Also in what concerns the richness of the fauna, it is important to point out that in the north of Deserta Grande, in the Castanheira valley, lives the Desertas tarantula (Lycosa ingens), an endemic species of this island, which is the largest of the three.
Thus, these territories, as well as the islets underlying them, became part of a special protection area in 1990.


The Desertas Islands Nature Reserve, a classification awarded in 1995, enjoys full protection status with a view to the conservation of these ecosystems.
Part of the Natura 2000 Network, the three islands add invaluable natural and landscape value to Madeira.

Made up of three small islands and some adjacent islets, the Desertas Islands Nature Reserve is home to a significant biological, geological and landscape heritage and therefore enjoys total ecological protection.

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