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Location Portugal, Madeiran Archipelago
Central coordinates 15o 52.98' West  30o 7.50' North
IBA criteria A4ii, A4iii, B1ii, C2, C4
Area 84,500 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves

Site description This marine area is adjacent to the terrestrial IBA PT086 and it is used by the largest colony of Cory's Shearwaters in the world, as well as by important Atlantic populations of several species of seabird such as Little Shearwater, Madeiran Storm-petrel and White-faced Storm-petrel. Other species that breed irregularly on Selvagem Pequena such as the Roseate Tern and the Black Tern also feed in this area. The Selvagens archipelago is located between Madeira Island (around 300 km north) and the Canaries (around 150 km south). It is comprised of two small uninhabited islands of volcanic origin: Selvagem Grande, with 2.5 km2 surface area, and Selvagem Pequena, 18km southwest, with just 0.16 km2. The area surrounding Selvagem Pequena is surrounded by extensive rocky shoals, many of which become exposed at low tide. The total proposed IBA is around 845 km2 partially overlapping with an existing marine reserve.

Key Biodiversity Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea: The Selvagens colony, with around 30,000 pairs, is the largest colony of this species in the world. It is now increasing, after a drastic decline of its numbers caused by excessive hunting in the 1970s (Granadeiro et al. 2006). Work involving data-loggers showed that their preferred feeding areas on short trips are between Selvagem Pequena and Selvagem Grande. Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis: Breeds mainly on Selvagem Grande, with over 4,000 pairs estimated for both islands. Its breeding seasons is from December to May, but it may be found in this IBA all year round. Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii: A population estimated at 5,000 pairs breeds on the Selvagens, concentrated mostly on Selvagem Grande. The use of this IBA by this species should be further researched. White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagofroma marina: The population on the Selvagens is one of the largest in the Atlantic and forms the northern boundary of the species' distribution. It has large colonies on both islands and is the most abundant seabird on Selvagem Pequena. Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro: There are both "cold-season" and "hot-season" populations on the Selvagens. Around 1,000 breeding pairs are estimated, although more recent estimates indicate likely populations of more than 10,000 birds for the Madeira archipelago, concentrated mostly on the Desertas and Selvagens. Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans: A scarce species in this IBA. Some tens of pairs may be found on these islands throughout the year. Other species observed in this IBA: Swinhoe's Storm-petrel Oceanodroma monorhis, Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon athereus, Common Tern, Black Tern.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Calonectris diomedea breeding  2006  29,540 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, C2  Not Recognised 
Puffinus assimilis breeding  1995  4,100 breeding pairs  poor  A4ii, B1ii, C2  Not Recognised 
Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii breeding  1994  5,000 breeding pairs  poor  A4ii, B1ii, C2  Least Concern 
Band-rumped Storm-petrel Hydrobates castro breeding  1994  1,000 breeding pairs  poor  A4ii, B1ii, C2  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  2006  30,000 breeding pairs  poor  A4iii, C4   
White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina breeding  1999  61,000 breeding pairs  medium  A4ii, B1ii, C2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Ilhas Selvagens Natural Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 8%
Notes: Ilhas Selvagens SPA (PTSEL0001); Ilhas Selvagens SCI (PTSEL0001); Ilhas Selvagens Nature Reserve; European Directive (Council of Europe); Resolution nº 65/1997of te Council of Europe Ministers' Committee -
military -
fisheries/aquaculture -

Protection status Ilhas Selvagens SPA (PTSEL0001); Regional Legislative Decree nº 5/2006/M, of 2nd March - 8% coincides with the IBA Ilhas Selvagens SCI (PTSEL0001); Regional Legislative Decree nº 5/2006/M, of 2nd March - 8% coincides with the IBA Ilhas Selvagens Nature Reserve; Decree nº 458/71 of 29th October, amended by Regional Decree nº. 15/78/M, of 10thMarch - 8% coincides with the IBA European Directive (Council of Europe); Resolution nº 65/1997of te Council of Europe Ministers' Committee - 8% coincides with the IBA

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Selvagens - Oceânica. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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