Ilhas Desertas

Country/territory: Portugal

IBA criteria met: A1, A2, A4ii, B1ii, B2, B3, C1, C2, C6 (2002)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 1,384 ha

Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves

Site description (baseline)
Three barren and cliffy volcanic islands, time ago joined, now separated by two little straits. From north to south: Ilhéu Chão, Deserta Grande and Bugio. The Ilhéu Chão is plain in the top and holds a diverse vegetation. Great part of Deserta Grande suffered desertification, but a valley in north area, formerly cultivated, holds now maritime Macaronesic vegetation. The Bugio is an elongated basaltic island with slopes and unstables cliffs. It's constituted by two main areas (north and south) each one with a little grass-covered plateau.

Key biodiversity
It's a extremely important place for five seabird species (Procellariidaea) who breed in Madeira. It's the only European breeding area of Pterodroma feae (Macaronesian endemic species) who breeds mainly at the south plateau of Bugio. Here we can also find important colonies of Bulweria bulwerii, Calonectris diomedea and Oceanodroma castro. Another seabird, Puffinus assimilis, breeds here in significant numbers. In all three islands also breed Sterna hirundo and Larus cachinnans, and some other Macaronesian endemic birds like Apus unicolor, Anthus berthelotii and Serinus canaria.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Ilhas Desertas. Downloaded from on 05/06/2023.