Desertas Islands: European Protected Area
Desertas is the name of the group of three small islands (Ilhéu Chão, Deserta Grande e Bugio) located southeast of Madeira island.
Of volcanic origin, they have an extensive coastline with very steep escarpments, constituting one of the last refuges of the Monk Seal (Monachus monachus) and an important nesting centre for seabirds.
In the north of Deserta Grande, in the Castanheira valley, resides the Desertas’ Tarantula (Lycosa ingens), a species endemic to this island.
All islands and islets of this sub-archipelago became protected in May 1990, through the creation of the Desertas Islands Special Protection Area, becoming a Nature Reserve in 1995.
In recognition of the natural and ecological value of these islands, the Council of Europe classified them in 1992 as a Biogenetic Reserve and, in early September, they received the European Certificate of Protected Areas from the Council of Europe, an award that recognizes the biological, geological and landscape diversity, as well as the work done by the Madeira Natural Park Services over the past decades.
This Nature Reserve is also a member of the Natura 2000 network.
See here the list of certified areas: http://www.coe.int/