Ilhéu de Baixo
Located on the southeast end of the island, the Ilhéu de Baixo protected area has 9.76 hectares and 129.3 hectares of marine area.
The Ilhéu de Baixo is located at about 700 metres from the coast and has a maximum altitude of 74 metres, being associated with the submarine volcanic activity that created the Caldeira’s central volcano.
It consists of surtseyan tuff cone formed from a submarine eruption of basaltic s.l. nature on shallow waters, is considerably eroded and nowadays is formed by two islets and several rocky reefs.
In this islet, it is possible to find diverse coastal endemic flora: Azorina vidalii, Spergularia azorica, Myosotis maritima, Euphorbia azorica and Festuca petraea.
It also is an important nesting area for seabirds, such as Common Tern (Sterna hirundo), Madeiran Storm-petrel (Hydrobates castro), Monteiro's Storm-petrel (Hydrobates monteiroi), Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris borealis), Barolo Shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri baroli) and Bulwer’s Petrel (Bulweria bulwerii).
This protected area comprises the Ilhéu de Baixo Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ilhéu de Baixo – Restinga Special Area of Conservation (SAC), within the Natura 2000 network, as well as the Ilhéu de Baixo e Costa Adjacente Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA), of the BirdLife International organization. It is part of the priority geosite Ponta Carapacho, Ponta da Restinga and Ilhéu de Baixo, of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark.