|Location||Cape Verde, São Nicolau|
|Central coordinates||24o 41.00' West 16o 39.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A4ii|
|Altitude||0 - 327m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The island is a large, oblong rock, rising precipitously from the sea to a height of 327 m. A ridge runs the length of the island, dropping steeply to the coast which, with the exception of an area of dunes on the western side and a small area of level ground in the extreme east, is entirely rocky. The seas around the island are turbulent for much of the year, making landing difficult.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris edwardsii||breeding||1988||2,500-3,570 breeding pairs||-||A4ii||Near Threatened|
|Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus||resident||-||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Least Concern|
|Iago Sparrow Passer iagoensis||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Ilheu Branco||Designation Not Known||300||is identical to site||300|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Collection of eggs and young of seabirds, and of shellfish and debris.|
Other biodiversity The endemic giant skink Macroscincus coctei (males up to c.65 cm in length), which only occurred on Branco and Raso and lived alongside the breeding seabirds in clefts and holes, is considered extinct. It has not been seen since the early twentieth century and is thought to have been wiped out through over-exploitation. Its skin was used for making shoes, while ‘criminals’ marooned on Branco in the past by the colonial Portuguese authorities, and who had to fend for themselves, caught them for food, as did visiting fishermen. The endemic giant gecko Tarentola gigas is still present in good numbers.
References Hazevoet (1994, 1995), Schleich (1982).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ilhéu Branco. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/12/2013
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