This site comprises the central mountain range of the island of Santiago and includes the island’s highest peak (Pico da Antónia, 1,392 m). The terrain is, in general, rugged, and accessibility is limited, but there are some roads and several trails which lead to the summit. Large parts of the slopes and crest are forested with a variety of trees, in particular Eucalyptus spp. These woods are managed by the state forestry service. The higher parts are often shrouded in clouds and, during much of the year, are relatively well-watered by mist and drizzle. There is some cultivation of coffee on the higher slopes, while maize and beans are grown at lower altitudes. Part of the mountain’s rim is a military zone, closed to the public, and there is also a telecommunications station.
See Box and Table 2 for key species. Endemic birds breeding in the area comprise Puffinus (assimilis) boydi, Buteo (‘buteo’) bannermani, Falco (tinnunculus) alexandri, Falco (peregrinus) madens, Tyto (alba) detorta, Apus alexandri, Acrocephalus brevipennis and Passer iagoensis. Milvus (milvus) fasciicauda used to occur, but is now extinct on Santiago (and is virtually so everywhere). In addition, Pterodroma feae was recorded breeding during the 1960s, but there is no recent information. Other breeding species include Coturnix coturnix, Halcyon leucocephala, Sylvia conspicillata, S. atricapilla and Passer hispaniolensis.
Non-bird biodiversity: Endemic lizards Mabuya stangeri spinalis, Tarentola darwini, T. rudis and Hemidactylus brooki angulatus occur at the site. Endemic plants include Euphorbia tuckeyana, Campanula jacobaea and Sonchus daltonii.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Serra do Pico da Antónia. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/10/2020.