Culture, Heritage and Diversity

European Diploma of Protected Areas: Awarded Areas in Portugal

Salvage Islands Nature Reserve (Ilhas Selvagens)

The archipelago of the Selvagens, in the Atlantic, consists of two groups of small islands, of which the three most important are Selvagem Grande, Selvagem Pequena and Ilhu de Fora. The islands were officially discovered by the Portuguese in the fifteenth century, and all attempts to colonise them were thwarted. They are extremely inhospitable and are still uninhabited today. From a botanical point of view, Selvagem Pequane and Ilhu de Fora remain untouched, a situation unique in the Atlantic. Zoologically speaking, they are a genuine sanctuary for pelagic birds in the sub-tropical area of the North Atlantic. Owing to the characteristics already mentioned, the archipelago is of exceptional scientific interest; it is a natural heritage whose value goes beyond national boundaries. For cultural and scientific reasons, the Portuguese Government acquired the islands in 1991and designated the area as a fully protected national reserve.

For information:
Parque Natural da Madeira
Regia Autonoma da Madeira,
Governo Regional
Quinta do Bom Sucesso Caminho do Meio
P-9050 Funchal

EUNIS factsheet

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