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Location Portugal, Centro
Central coordinates 9o 31.00' West  39o 27.00' North
IBA criteria A4ii, A4iii, B1ii, B2, C2, C4, C6
Area 9,560 ha
Altitude 0 - 94m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves

Site description A small archipelago of rocky islets, the only sizeable such group off the Portuguese mainland, located c.8 km off the west coast. The largest of the islets covers only 2.5 km2Tourists and anglers visit the area in spring and summer.

Key Biodiversity This is the only known breeding colony of Oceanodroma castro near the European mainland. The site holds 10,000 or more pairs of seabirds on a regular basis. The number of breeding Larus cachinnans has increased dramatically in recent years and this colony is now controlled by culling. Berlenga marks the southern limit in Europe for breeding Uria aalge, with 45 individuals (declined from 6,000 pairs in 1939), and the northern limit for breeding Calonectris diomedea. Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Falco peregrinus (2 pairs).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Calonectris diomedea breeding  2002  117-220 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 
Hydrobates castro breeding  1995  200-400 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, B2, C2, C6  Not Recognised 
Falco peregrinus resident  1995  2 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Berlengas Nature Reserve 9,560 protected area contained by site 9,560  
Ilhas Berlengas Biogenetic Reserves 1,020 unknown 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Sea Open Sea; Sea inlets and coastal features  -
Coastline Rock stacks and islets; Sea cliffs and rocky shores; Shingle & stony beaches  -
Introduced vegetation   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
military -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -

Protection status National High International High9,560 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Berlenga, 9,560 ha). 9,560 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Ilhas Berlengas, 9,560 ha).

References Lecoq (2002)

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Berlenga and Farilhões islands. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife