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Caveiro

Nature Reserve

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Located north of Lajes do Pico, this area has about 266 hectares, with its highest point at 1076 metres.

This protected area belongs to the oldest geological formations of Planalto da Achada, a volcanic ridge that extends for about 30 kilometres, from Lagoa do Capitão to Ponta da Ilha, in the island’s eastern end, and integrates around 190 volcanic cones. This zone of fissural volcanism is mainly constituted by scoria cones and basaltic lava flows of recent age, this is, under 10 thousand years. At south, these lava flows contact with the geological formations of Topo Volcano, a shield volcano with 1022 metres of altitude and highly affected by tectonics and erosion processes.

This place is subject to conditions of extreme humidity, drenching and permanent fog, allowing the emergence of Sphagnum sp., Eleocharis multicaulis and Juncus spp., species typical of humid habitats, and of the so-called “cloud forest”, where stands out the presence of Ilex azorica and Juniperus brevifolia. Besides the conservation importance of these humid habitats, they play an important role in the regulation of the island’s hydrological system. 

The local geology and flora allow a diverse fauna, with the presence of the species Hipparchia azorina, Cedrorum azoricus caveirensis, Turdus merula azorensis, Regulus regulus inermis and Nyctalus azoreum, the only endemic mammal known in the Region.

It is possible to cross this area through the Caminho das Lagoas (PR19PIC) walking trail.

This area integrates a Special Protection Area (SPA) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) within the Natura 2000 network, an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) of the BirdLife International organization and a Ramsar Site under the Ramsar Convention. Caveiro zone is integrated in a geosite of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark.

Classifications:

RAMSAR site

IBA

Geosite

Natura 2000 network

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