Calheta beach
  • Nature of Madeira

         The Island of Madeira is fvery rich in biological diversity with numerous species endemic to the island.  The islands flora and fauna draw tourists from  around the world to experience their beauty.    Madeira was awarded the distinction of being a World Nature Heritage by UNESCO in 1999. 

       To further protect the unique species on this Island, five nature reserves were created.  Two of these reserves are located on the Desertas and Selvagens Islands.  On the main island visitors can explore the  Rocha do Navio,  Garajau and Ponta de São Lourenço nature reserves.  For more information on Madeira's
    nature reserves, click here.

       Once described as "the floating garden of the Atlantic",  Madeira is the home to hundreds of thousands of different plant species and is well known for its exotic plants and rare orchids.  Madeira has over a dozen gardens and parks built to protect and display their wealth of flora.  For more information on Madeira's
    gardens and parks, click here.

  • Birds

       Madeira is the home to 40 species of birds, many of which are exotic and rare.  There are three bird species endemic to the Island of Madeira : Long-toed pigeon (Columba trocaz), Zino's petrel (Pterodroma madeira) and  Madeira Firecrest (Regulus madeirensis).

       The island is also an important breeding spot for marine birds three species of shearwater and the Atlantic herring gull.  The Desertas Islands protected reserve is an important breeding area for the islands birds.

      Visitors come from around the world to join in birdwatching expeditions on the Island of Madeira.  For more information on
    birdwatching, click here.
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    The oceans around Madeira are home to around 250 species of fish.   Visitors can take a
    boat tour or scuba trip around the area to view the numerous species of fish, whales, dolphins, porpoises, sharks, flying fish, sea eels and rays.  To see a more precise list of fish to be found in the area, take a look at our Big Game Fishing page.

      As far as mammals on the island, one can find wild rabbits, field mice, goats and cows.  Many small lizards can also be seen crawling out from under rocks to take advantage of the sunshine.