The volcanic North Atlantic archipelago of the Azores is an autonomous region of Portugal lying some 1,500km west of the mainland. Its nine main islands cover 2,387km2 and reach 2,381m. The native vegetation has been considerably altered by human activity such that the original laurel forest today covers only 2% of the islands. The archipelago has been identified as a Secondary Area on account of one restricted-range species, Island Canary Serinus canaria, which also occurs on Madeira and the Canary Islands (EBA 120). Of the total population of S. canaria (60,000-120,000 birds), c.30-40% are found in the Azores, where the species occurs virtually everywhere from open to forested habitats. The Azores Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula murina (a very distinct form of the widespread Eurasian Bullfinch) is endemic to eastern So Miguel. It was a locally abundant pest of fruit orchards in the nineteenth century but, after persecution, became rare in the 1920s; the present population of c.120 pairs is largely confined to remaining native vegetation (a patch of c.5km2), where the continuing spread of aggressive exotic plants is the main threat (Heredia et al. 1996). The Azores are of considerable importance for their breeding seabirds, particularly Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea (50,000-100,000 pairs; nearly half the world population) and Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii (1,000 pairs; three-quarters of the European population) (Tucker and Heath 1994). Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae (classified as Endangered) may also breed on the islands (see EBAs078, 120), as suggested by the recent capture there of a single bird (Bibby and del Nevo 1992).
|Island Canary (Serinus canaria)||LC|
|IBA Code||Site Name||Country|
|PT080||Pico da Vara||Portugal|
Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Endemic Bird Area factsheet: Azores. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 08/12/2013
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