Protected Area for the Management of Habitats or Species
Located on the northwest part of the island, this area has about 884 hectares and includes long and high sea-cliffs, cut by bays and inlets, with altitudes of about 600 metres.
Its landscape is marked by various unique geologic elements and coastal vegetation, which constitute significant habitats where different sea bird species can be observed.
On the sea-cliffs, mainly on their lower part, outcrop the oldest geological formations of the island, with about 2.5 million years and composed of volcanic deposits of submarine origin (such as surtseyan tuffs).
This coastal area also displays several levels of lava flows and pyroclasts of basaltic and trachytic nature, crossed by vents and dykes, and where is possible to see many examples of columnar and spheroidal jointing. Several islets stand out, such as Furado, Álvaro Rodrigues, Garajau and Alagoa, as well as a littoral cave shaped by the marine erosion – Furna do Galo.
The vegetation comprises woodlands of Erica azorica, Morella faya, Picconia azorica and Juniperus brevifolia.
On the slopes and islets, nest colonies of Calonectris borealis, Sterna hirundo, Sterna dougallii, Puffinus puffinus and Puffinus lherminieri baroli. It is also possible to observe the Turdus merula azorensis, the Serinus canaria, the Motacilla cinerea patriciae and the Fringilla coelebs moreletti.
It is possible to discover this protected area through the Fajã Grande - Ponta Delgada (PR01FLO) and the Great Route of Flores (GR01FLO) walking trails.
Near this zone, one can visit the Boqueirão Environmental Interpretation Centre, which was created in the tanks where the whale oil, melted in the Boqueirão Whaling Station, was stored. It is a space dedicated to the promotion and knowledge of the most interesting places of the island, with highlight to the marine environments.
This area integrates the Costa Nordeste Special Protection Area (SPA) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) within the Natura 2000 network, an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) of the BirdLife International organization and has geosites of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark. Its outer edge borders with the Costa Nordeste Protected Area of Resources Management.