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Location Portugal, Madeiran Archipelago
Central coordinates 16o 22.00' West  33o 1.00' North
IBA criteria A2, B3, C6
Area 204 ha
Altitude 0 - 174m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves

Site description Three rocky islets (Ilhéu de Cima, Ilhéu de Baixo and Ilhéu de Ferro) covered with scrub and Macaronesian coastal flora, located off the coast of Porto Santo. Two of the islands (Ilhéu de Ferro and Ilhéu de Cima) have lighthouses and the third was once used for mining lime. Two IBAs identified in the previous European IBA inventory (Grimmett and Jones 1989) (former sites 008 and 009) have been merged to form this one site.

Key Biodiversity Four species of shearwater and petrel (Procellariidae: Calonectris diomedea, Bulweria bulwerii, Oceanodroma castro and Puffinus assimilis) nest on these islands but as yet no in-depth study has been carried out. Sterna dougallii, S. hirundo and Larus cachinnans also breed. On land, Anthus berthelotii madeirensis (common), Serinus canaria, Petronia petronia madeirensis and Apus unicolor are of note.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Puffinus assimilis breeding  2002  rare  C6  Not Recognised 
Plain Swift Apus unicolor breeding  2002  abundant  A2, B3  Least Concern 
Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii resident  2002  abundant  A2, B3  Least Concern 
Island Canary Serinus canaria resident  2002  abundant  A2, B3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Ilhéus do Porto Santo - PTPOR0001 Habitats Directive 232 protected area overlaps with site 35  
Laurisilva da Madeira - PTMAD0001 Birds Directive 13,355 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Parque Natural da Madeira Nature Park 0 protected area contains site 174  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
not utilised -

Protection status National None International None

References Bannerman & Bannerman (1963), Zino & Biscoito (1994), Câmara (1997), Oliveira (1999).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ilhéus do Porto Santo. Downloaded from on 02/03/2015

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