Rocha dos Bordões
With 10.28 hectares, this Natural Monument is situated at a maximum height of 493 metres.
Rocha dos Bordões presents itself as vertical rocky columns of great dimension, which resemble staffs (bordões) made of rock, therefore its name (Rock of Staffs).
Located near the road between Mosteiro and Lajedo, this geological structure is a columnar or prismatic jointing, associated with the cooling of a traquibasaltic lava flow during its flow and placing. These columns have about 20 metres of altitude, a section with decimetric dimension and are well preserved, despite the age of the lava flow (about 570 thousands years old).
Of the surrounding vegetation, stands out the presence of Juniperus brevifolia, Frangula azorica, Picconia azorica, Erica azorica and Vaccinium cylindraceum. Among the endemic shrubs and herbaceous plants, are noteworthy the species of Scabiosa nitens, Leontodon hochstetteri, Cardamine caldeirarum and Hypericum foliosum.
The birds are represented mainly by resident species with highlight to the Azorean endemic subspecies such as the Fringilla coelebs moreletti, the Sylvia atricapilla atlantis, the Motacilla cinerea patriciae, the Turdus merula azorensis and the Regulus regulus inermis.
This area includes the Central – Morro Alto Special Area of Conservation (SAC) within the Natura 2000 Network and constitutes a geosite of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark.