|Altitude||0 - 3700m|
Madeira (politically part of Portugal) and the Canary Islands (Spain) are two volcanic archipelagos in the North Atlantic, c.90 km off north-west Africa. Madeira (including the Desertas) is c.800 km2 in area and reaches 1,860 m, while the Canary Islands total c.7,500 km2 and rise (on Tenerife) to 3,700 m. The Selvagens (Portugal), situated between the two, are also part of the EBA.
On Madeira the characteristic vegetation is laurel forest. On the western and central Canaries laurel forest occurs at 400-1,300 m and montane Pinus canariensis forest at 800-1,900 m. The lower-lying and arid eastern Canaries (Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Graciosa) are vegetated with semi-desert scrub.Restricted-range species
Several of the restricted-range species are forest birds including the three endemic pigeons, which are laurel forest specialists (of the two which co-occur in the Canaries, Columba junoniae prefers scrubbier areas above and below major stands of laurel). Fringilla teydea is restricted to pine forest.
Tenerife has the greatest number of restricted-range species. Madeira and Fuerteventura each have their own endemic birds and the forested western and central Canary Islands support four endemics.
The islands also hold many endemic subspecies of widespread birds, notably the distinctive race fuertaventurae of Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis un
Madeira is particularly important for breeding seabirds, including Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira, an endemic breeder on Madeira itself, and Fea's Petrel P. feae, which nests on Bugio in the Desertas (one of a few breeding populations; see also EBA 078) (Zino and Biscoito 1994).
|Madeira Laurel-pigeon (Columba trocaz)||LC|
|Dark-tailed Laurel-pigeon (Columba bollii)||LC|
|White-tailed Laurel-pigeon (Columba junoniae)||NT|
|Plain Swift (Apus unicolor)||LC|
|Canarian Oystercatcher (Haematopus meadewaldoi)||EX|
|Fuerteventura Stonechat (Saxicola dacotiae)||NT|
|Berthelot's Pipit (Anthus berthelotii)||LC|
|Island Canary (Serinus canaria)||LC|
|IBA Code||Site Name||Country|
|ES338||Morro Tabaiba-Morro de los Rincones-Vallebrón mountains||Spain|
|ES340||Cuchillete de Buenavista-gully of La Torre-Los Alares||Spain|
|ES346||Gully of Ajuí-Betancuria||Spain|
|ES354||Pajonales, Ojeda, Inagua and La Data pine woodlands||Spain|
|ES355||Tamadaba pine woodland||Spain|
|ES357||San Andrés, Pijaral and Anaga mountains||Spain|
|ES358||Las Vueltas, Aguas Negras and Quebradas mountains||Spain|
|ES359||Las Mercedes, Mina y Yedra, Aguirre, La Goleta and Pedro Alvarez mountains||Spain|
|ES366||Mountain of Agua, gully of Los Cochinos and gully of Cuevas Negras||Spain|
|ES369||Vilaflor pine woodland||Spain|
|ES370||Arico pine woodland||Spain|
|ES376||Garajonay National Park||Spain|
|ES379||La Palma laurel forest||Spain|
|ES380||El Canal y Los Tiles laurel forest||Spain|
|PT084||Maciço Montanhoso Oriental||Portugal|
|PT087||Ponta de São Lourenço||Portugal|
|PT088||Ponta do Pargo||Portugal|
|PT089||Ilhéus do Porto Santo||Portugal|
|PT090||Porto Santo Oeste||Portugal|
Today native forest is greatly reduced: 14% of the original area is left on Madeira (where the largest and best examples of laurel habitat remain), 10% on Tenerife and less than 1% on Gran Canaria.
On Madeira the creation of the Parque Natural da Madeira (covering almost two-thirds of the island and virtually all the remaining laurel forest) has contributed to the recovery of Columba trocaz (3,500-5,000 birds and increasing), along with the prohibition of hunting under the European Union Wild Birds Directive. These actions keep this species classified as Conservation Dependent rather than qualifying as threatened. Forests on Madeira nevertheless remain threatened by fire and by grazing and browsing by goats and pigs. The Parque Natural da Madeira also protects the sheer grassy cliffs where Pterodroma madeira breeds (Critical, probably fewer than 30 pairs; see 'Restricted-range species', above), although predation by black rats Rattus rattus and feral cats, and habitat degradation remain threats. The Desertas Special Protected Area protects P. feae (Vulnerable, 150-200 pairs nesting; see above).
In the western and central Canaries, the protection of pine forest has resulted in Fringilla teydea (2,000-3,000 birds) being judged as Conservation Dependent. However, inappropriate management of laurel forest, small-scale learance (inside and outside existing protected areas), illegal hunting and introduced predators (rats and cats) continue to threaten Columba bollii (c.1,700) and C. junoniae (1,200-1,500) (Tucker and Heath 1994).
In the eastern Canaries, the continuing natural desertification of Fuerteventura, together with water extraction and grazing by goats, may damage the future prospects of Saxicola dacotiae (1,500-1,700 birds) (Bibby and Hill 1987). Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are important for Chlamydotis undulata fuertaventurae (see 'Restricted-range species' above; the most threatened of the species' three races); the entire population of this subspecies was thought to number 200-400 birds, chiefly on Fuerteventura, until a recent survey of Lanzarote and Graciosa estimated 400 birds for these islands alone (Martín et al. 1996). No cause is known for the disappearance of Haematopus meadewaldoi from the eastern Canaries, although competition from man for the intertidal invertebrates on which both once depended seems the most likely factor (Hockey 1987).
Grimmett and Jones (1989) identified over 60 Important Bird Areas in the EBA, and detailed action plans for the threatened and Conservation Dependent taxa are given in Heredia et al. (1996).
BirdLife International (2020) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Madeira and the Canary Islands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/09/2020.