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Caldeira do Faial

Nature Reserve

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Located in Cedros parish and on a protected area with 313 hectares, the Faial Caldera is a collapse caldera, with about 2 kilometres in diameter, summit to the central volcano of the island, a volcanic edifice with about 400 thousand years.

It is the youngest caldera of the Azores (about 1000 years old), has a small intra-caldera scoria cone and a lava dome of trachytic nature near the southwest wall – Rocha do Altar. Near the south edge is the highest point of the island, Cabeço Gordo, with 1043 metres. Inside the caldera there was once a permanent lagoon, that resulted from the accumulation of rainwater, which infiltrated due to the seismic crisis of May 1958 associated with the eruption of the Capelinhos Volcano (1957/1958), resulting in a small phreatic explosion inside the caldera.

In Caldera, it is possible to find about two-thirds of the endemic vascular flora of the Azores, such as the Juniperus brevifolia, the Euphorbia stygiana stygiana, the Sanicula azorica, the Lactuca watsoniana and the Rumex azoricus. The birdlife includes Azorean endemic subspecies such as the Fringilla coelebs moreletti, the Sylvia atricapilla atlantis and the Buteo buteo rothschildi.

The access to the interior of Faial Caldera is conditioned by the Ordinance no. 68/2018, of 21 June, but it is possible to cross the perimeter of this reserve through the Caldera walking trail (PRC04FAI).

This area integrates a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Special Protection Area (SPA) within the Natura 2000 network, is classified as a Ramsar Site under the Ramsar Convention and is a geosite of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark.

Classifications:

RAMSAR site

Geosite

EDEN

Natura 2000 network

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