Ilhéu de Baixo
With a land area of 9.76 hectares and 129.3 hectares of marine area, Ilhéu de Baixo has a maximum altitude of 74 metres, and consists of two islets of basaltic origin and some emerged rocks.
It corresponds to a cone of stratified surtseyan tufts, very dismantled by the erosive and tectonic activity, formed from a submarine eruption of basaltic s.l. nature on shallow waters.
It is an important nesting area for seabirds, such as Sterna hirundo, Hydrobates castro, Hydrobates monteiroi, Calonectris borealis, Puffinus lherminieri baroli and Bulweria bulwerii. In this area there is also the only colony of Larus michahellis atlantis of the island.
In this islet, we can find diverse coastal flora, characteristic of sea-cliffs and the coastal habitats, with highlight to the Azorina vidalii, the Spergularia azorica, the Myosotis maritima, the Euphorbia azorica and the Festuca petraea.
This protected area has the statutes of Special Protection Area (SPA) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC), within the Natura 2000 network, as well as the statutes of Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) Ilhéu de Baixo e Costa Adjacente, of the BirdLife International organization/SPEA (Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds), and of Nucleus Zone of the Biosphere Reserve. It is part of the priority geosite Ponta Carapacho, Ponta da Restinga and Ilhéu de Baixo, of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark.