Costa do Topo
Protected Area for the Management of Habitats or Species
This protected terrestrial area on the eastern end of São Jorge has approximately 388 hectares and is circumscribed by Ribeira Funda and Ribeira das Lixívias (streams).
In this area, the Cabeço da Forca stands out, a scoria cone cut by the sea-cliff and that exhibits a dyke system associated with its inner structure. In turn, in Topo harbour are visible peculiar shapes associated with marine erosion phenomena and an intense alteration of the rock formations that, due to their age, display spheroidal jointing and arenitization of lava flows.
This area is characterized by housing several bird species such as Sterna dougallii and flora species, namely Azorina vidalii, Euphorbia stygiana ssp. stygiana and Juniperus brevifolia.
It is a privileged habitat classified as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) of the BirdLife International organization. This protected area also integrates the Costa Noroeste and Ponta do Topo Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the Ilhéu do Topo and Costa Adjacente Special Protection Area (SPA), within the Natura 2000 network. Together with Ilhéu do Topo Protected Area for the Management of Habitats or Species, constitutes a geosite of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark.