Rocha dos Bordões
Located on the southwest part of the island, this area has about 10 hectares and a maximum altitude 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), and is located near the road between the Mosteiro and Lajedo parishes.
In this Natural Monument, it is possible to find flora and fauna species endemic of the Azores that, together with its geologic characteristics, make it one of the island's most remarkable places and an observation point very searched by nature photography lovers.
This geological structure is a columnar or prismatic jointing, associated with the cooling of a trachybasaltic 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 thousand 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 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 Zone - Morro Alto Special Area of Conservation (SAC) within the Natura 2000 network and constitutes a geosite of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark.