Costa e Caldeirão do Corvo
Protected Area for the Management of Habitats or Species
With 777,42 hectares and a maximum height of 720 metres, this area includes almost all of the coastal sea cliffs and islets of Corvo Island. Its management is focussed on the active intervention in certain habitats or directed to specific species.
The inaccessible sea-cliffs house relevant communities, which represent the natural flora endemic to Macaronesia, as well as sea bird colonies. This type of habitat belongs to the rocky habitats classified by the Natura 2000 network. There is vegetation that grows on the fractures and which composition depends on the geomorphological nature of the sea cliff, but that is particularly rich on rare species. This habitat has also terrestrial slopes, walls with comophytic specialized vascular vegetation (that live on small amounts of soil in rocky discontinuities) and biotypes of epiphytic vegetation (that live on other plants, which serve as support).
This protected area holds wetlands inside the borders of the volcanic caldera, the Caldeirão, and on the island’s highest areas, on the outside slopes facing south and east. The wetlands are extremely important to the regulation of the island's hydrological system. The natural vegetation, with peat bogs and meadows, has an important role in water retention and in the microclimate. Within the specific typical types of natural habitats stands out: active raised bogs blanket bog, bog woodland, Macaronesian mesophile grasslands, endemic Macaronesian bushlands and formations of euphorbia.
Most important in the birdlife are the colonies of seabirds, such as the Calonectris borealis (cagarro), the Sterna hirundo (garajau-comum) and the Puffinus lherminieri baroli (frulho). The closeness to the American continent, the non-existence of trees and the absence of population in most of the island, makes it possible to observe several rare birds of Nearctic origins and occasional species, of rare sighting in Europe, leading many ornithology lovers to this Azorean island.
This area includes a Special Protection Area (SPA) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) of the Natura 2000 network, an IBA (Important Bird and Biodiversity Area) of the BirdLife International organization, a Ramsar Site, under the Ramsar Convention, and its marine edge abuts a Protected Area of Resources Management. Corvo Island is classified as a Biosphere Reserve since 2007, within the MAB Programme (Man and the Biosphere) of UNESCO.