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Algar do Carvão

Natural Monument

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Localized roughly in the middle of Terceira island, this protected area has about 39 hectares and is at an approximate altitude of 640 metres.

Algar do Carvão is a relevant monument for the volcanology of the island and the Azores. However, it is also significant in terms of biodiversity, as the intense light allows the existence of vegetation in the upper part of the interior of the cone, where several species of fauna live. As one goes deeper into the cone, the level of vegetation decreases until the bottom of the cave, where there are algae and mould.

This natural monument consists of a scoria cone which volcanic vent that, not lying completely obstructed by landslides or fillers, ends in a small lagoon at a depth of 90 metres. With large geodiversity associated, there is a profusion of siliceous formations, such as stalactites and stalagmites, highly developed and rare in oceanic volcanism. 

Along with the biological communities that cover the inside of the cone, the pit is a natural protected habitat where many endemic species of flora can be identified, such as Tree Heath (Erica azorica), Holly (Ilex azorica), Azorean laurel (Laurus azorica), Vaccinium cylindraceum, ferns as Blechnum spicant and Polypodium azoricum and the mosses Alophosia azorica and Calypogeia azorica
From fauna species stands out the presence of endemic cave-dwelling arthropods such as the Turinyphia cavernicola, the Lithobius obscurus azoreae and the Trechus terceiranus.
This area integrates the Serra de Santa Bárbara e Pico Alto Special Area of Conservation (SAC) within the Natura 2000 network and the Planalto Central da Terceira Ramsar Site under the Ramsar Convention. Algar do Carvão is also a geosite of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark.


Ramsar Site

Natura 2000 network


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