Berlenga and Farilhões islands

Year of compilation: 2002

Site description
A small archipelago of rocky islets, the only sizeable such group off the Portuguese mainland, located c.8 km off the west coast. The largest of the islets covers only 2.5 km2Tourists and anglers visit the area in spring and summer.

Key biodiversity
This is the only known breeding colony of Oceanodroma castro near the European mainland. The site holds 10,000 or more pairs of seabirds on a regular basis. The number of breeding Larus cachinnans has increased dramatically in recent years and this colony is now controlled by culling. Berlenga marks the southern limit in Europe for breeding Uria aalge, with 45 individuals (declined from 6,000 pairs in 1939), and the northern limit for breeding Calonectris diomedea. Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Falco peregrinus (2 pairs).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Tourists and anglers cause a certain amount of disturbance to breeding birds. The introduction of the non-native and highly invasive creeper Carpobrotus has affected the natural vegetation cover.

Protected areas
National High International High9,560 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Berlenga, 9,560 ha). 9,560 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Ilhas Berlengas, 9,560 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Berlenga and Farilhões islands. Downloaded from on 29/09/2021.