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Location São Tomé e Príncipe, Príncipe
Central coordinates 7o 17.00' East  1o 23.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4ii, A4iii
Area 23 ha
Altitude 0 - 65m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description The two islands of Tinhosa Pequena (3 ha) and Tinhosa Grande (20 ha) lie 22 km south-west of Príncipe. They are unvegetated rocky islets that reach altitudes of 65 m (Tinhosa Pequena) and 56 m (Tinhosa Grande). Tinhosa Pequena is inaccessible because of its almost sheer slopes, but there is a small platform on Tinhosa Grande which enables landing.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. The Tinhosas islands shelter the largest seabird colonies in the Gulf of Guinea. In addition to the species listed below, a fifth, Phaethon lepturus, also breeds regularly at the site in small numbers. The status of two other species, Sterna anaethetus and Oceanodroma castro, is unclear—they are sometimes seen around the islets, but there is no proof of breeding. There are two breeding seasons, coinciding with the two dry seasons, December–January and June–August. Non-breeding visitors include, in small numbers, Phaethon aethereus, Sula dactylatra, Sula sula and the globally threatened Fregata aquila. These birds are presumed to come from colonies on Ascension Island, 2,500 km to the south-west.

Non-bird biodiversity: An unidentified gecko has been found.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster breeding  1,500-3,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus breeding  100,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Brown Noddy Anous stolidus breeding  4,000-8,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Black Noddy Anous minutus breeding  10,000-20,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
other -
Notes: Occasional harvesting of nesting seabirds.
not utilised -

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

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