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Flora & Fauna

Flora & Fauna

Influenced by the winds from the northeast and the east, which blow from the arid zone of the Sahara and the Sahel, the terrestrial eco-system of the archipelogo of Cape Verde is not tropical, even though the greenery covers all the palms on the land with an ephemeral blanket during the rainy season. Although dry periods have a strong influence, particulary on the south face of the islands, where the wind does not bring humidity the most agricultural of islands sow their seed in the dry lands when the rainy season is coming, and two rainfalls lasting several days are sufficient to make the crops grow. In the valleys, the ridges and the plateaus of the mountainous islands, agriculture plays an important role in the economy of Cape Verde even today. Enough food is cultivated to supply the markets with mais, various types of beans, sweet potato, cossava, vegetables and fruits, with considerable regularity. After the independence in 1974, a notable initiative was taken in the mountains to plant trees on the archipelago. It is a continued initiative, which led to the planting of an area of 5,000 hectares between 2002 and 2004.

If the flora is sparse and not very virulent in Cape Verde archipelago, the earth—bound fauna is even scarcer, despite the introduction of domestic cattle to the islands with colonisation, with horses, donkeys and cows, and particulary goats, able to find food in a hostile environment. E ven the macaco verde (grivet) present in some areas of Santiago and Brava, was brought from the continent, as was the toad. Reptiles are not numerous as well and are limited to a few species, excluding snakes of any type. The birdlife of Cape Verde has notable biodiversity, with a hundred and fifty species.  Birds that are common or representative are: the passarinha, rabil, crow, garca boieira, albatross, corredeira, pilrito sanderlingo, tchota de cana, calhandra do ilhéu Raso and the eagle.
In the sea, the marine life presents a reasonable variety of resident fish, such as demersal residents, pelagics and others.

The garoupa de pintos, Iinguado, mareia pintada, moreia preta, besugo, badejo Pelagics: The serra or djeu, salmon, daurada or Iabo, peixe·goIo, bicuda or barracuda Deep Sea Fish: The bonito, cacao, charroco, cherne, esmoregal or charéu, garoupa de Madejra, mero or merrebedjo, pargo and varius sargos, such as the salema.The posse or voador, which can be observed on the surface flying quite long ditances, is another striking example of the fish of Capo Verde.There are protected species which are interesting to tourist, such as humpback whales (between December and May) and many dolphins.This marine fauna is enriched by some migratory species, such as tuna and the swordfish.

Cape Verde is an archipelago in the Macaronesia region with influences from the Sahel region, with unique climatic, geological, marine, geomorphologic, botanical and zoological characteristics. These special qualities make Cape Verde a unique archipelago among all the others in the vast Atalntic area. Its protected areas have now gained international recognition as instruments that make a vital contribution to the conservation of natural and cultural resources worldwide. As tourism is a sector destinated to play a very important role in the socio-economic development of Cape Verde, the policy for protected areas should be closely linked to the tourism policy as a strategic element to differentiate Cape Verde as a tourist destination.



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