"Selvagens Islands UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE candidate" Selvagem Grande by salinhopt
Selvagem Grande Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 7 photos
The last and most southerly point of the Madeira Political Administration is the area known as the "Ilhas Selvagens". A group of very small islands, formerly owned by a wealthy family in Madeira, the Rocha Machado family (banking), were declared a nature sanctuary in 1971 when the property ceased to be in the possesion of the family and turned over to the government. It is currently manned by a few sentries that are relieved every two weeks. The islands are breeding grounds for Shearwaters.
The Selvagens archipelago consists of two groups of small islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The main islands are Selvagem Grande, Selvagem Pequena and Ilheu de Fora. Discovered by the Portuguese in the 15th century, they maintained a unique isolation, and resisted any attempt at colonization. Botanically, both Selvagem Grande and the Ilheu de Fora are in quite original condition, which is not the case for other islands in the Atlantic Ocean. From a zoological perspective, they remain a valuable sanctuary for marine birds in the subtropical zone of the north Atlantic.
Due to the rare species and unique conditions, the archipelago has great scientific interest. In 1971, the Portuguese Government acquired the islands and proclaimed a Natural Reserve Area. The archipelago has been certifiied as a natural area by the European Council since 1992, the only area with that unique status in Portugal. It has been guarded over the years by the Vigilantes da Natureza and technical staff from the Parque Natural da Madeira.
This year Portugal and Madeira Natural Park candidate the Islands to become WORLD HERITAGE by UNESCO.
- In a nutshell:Untouched beauty!
Ilha Selvagem Pequena is uninhabited but during the months of July and August it is visited by fishermen from the Canary... more travel advice
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