The site is situated on the northern coast, between Lagoa Azul and Diogo Nunes, and includes a succession of grasslands, coconut plantations, herbaceous swamps, mangroves and estuarine waters. Around the coastal lagoon of Lagoa Azul there are also thickets and dry lowland forest along narrow gullies. Only the mangroves and dry forests appear to be natural, and the latter may represent a relict of the original vegetation of this part of the island.
See Box and Table 2 for key species. A total of 59 species have been recorded, including three species of global conservation concern, one of which is the almost certainly introduced Euplectes aureus. The more adaptable of the restricted-range species are well represented and include Columba malherbii, Alcedo thomensis, Prinia molleri, Speirops lugubris, Nectarinia newtoni and Ploceus sanctithomae. Other introduced species, including Francolinus afer, Coturnix delegorguei and Streptopelia senegalensis, are also common.
Non-bird biodiversity: The endemic bat, Chaerephon tomensis (VU), was recently described from the Lagoa Azul area.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The area has been proposed as a Zona Ecologica under the name ‘Praia das Conchas’. This area is probably the most amenable to formal protection in the region, since there is a large human presence elsewhere, including fishing villages along the coast. The savannas are regularly burnt.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: São Tomé northern savannas. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 18/06/2021.