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The book The Natural History of the Desertas Islands (“História Natural das Ilhas Desertas”) was presented on December 1, 2015 in Cape Verde.

Focusing on the biodiversity of Desertas Islands – Santa Luzia, Branco and Raso, this book, co-edited by CIBIO-InBIO’s researcher, Raquel Vasconcelos, constitutes an invaluable tool to raise awareness about the natural patrimony of these islands, bringing attention to the need to set up conservation and management measures that can ensure the preservation of the natural heritage comprised therein.

With contributions from various international specialists, and sponsored by the the Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) and the Capeverdian Environment-Spatial planning Ministry, the book provides an overview of several topics on the natural history of this sub-archipelago, which until now were underexplored. Together with the printed Portuguese version, which will soon be available for purchase, the readers have also access to a digital English version.

The presentation event took place in the building of the “Old School” of the University of Cape Verde in the presence of the President of the Capeverdian Zoology Society (Sociedade Caboverdiana de Zoologia), Prof. Rui Freitas, the Manager of Santa Luzia Protected Area, Dra. Silvana Roque, the Vice-Rector of the University of Cape Verde, and Raquel Vasconcelos.







The presentation of the book "História Natural das Ilhas Desertas - The Natural History of the Desertas Islands - Santa Luzia, Branco e Raso" is the culmination of a project by the Cape Verdean Zoological Society entitled "Scientific Compilation (bulletin) on the Biological Diversity of the Desertas Islands - Santa Luzia, Branco and Raso in Cape Verde", funded by the Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) in 2011.


This is a scientifically accurate bilingual tool (in Portuguese and English), which brings together the various aspects already published and others yet to be published on the Natural History of this remote and scientifically underexplored area that is included in a biodiversity hotspot. The book, with the edition of Raquel Vasconcelos (CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto), Rui Freitas (DECM, University of Cape Verde) and J. Cornelis Hazevoet (IICT, Tropical Research Institute), contains 10 illustrated chapters with vast scientific information validated by 19 internationally recognized experts. 


In addition to a foreword written by the National Environment Director and a general introduction, the book brings together the available information in the literature on the Geography and Geology, (1) Human Presence (2) Current Circulation (3), Marine Biodiversity (4) Vegetation (5), Terrestrial Reptiles (6) History of the Iconic Lizard Giant (7) Breeding Birds (8), The Raso Lark (9), Introduced species and Conservation Measures (10) of this group of protected islands, home to some of the most threatened species in the world.


The book aims to provide basic information which guides the management of species and marine and coastal habitats on the Nature Reserves of Santa Luzia and Branco and Raso islets and the Marine Protected Area, and also to boost the decision makers and users of the Desertas in the safeguarding of its Natural Heritage. It also aims to raise environmental awareness of the general public: it is necessary ordinary citizens to know the biological diversity in order to get emotionally involved with it and thus support conservation projects to be developed. As a bilingual work, it will promote the increase of awareness for the global importance of this small archipelago for both marine and terrestrial biodiversity.


Click here to see a description of the book in Portuguese.



To know more about this topic, please follow the links below:


História Natural das Ilhas Desertas de Cabo Verde” | Capeverdian Zoology Society (Sociedade Caboverdiana de Zoologia) I 2 Dec 2015 (Information available in Portuguese)


História da reserva natural de Santa Luzia, Branco e Raso, em livro” | TCV (Cape Verde TV)| 2 Dec 2015 (Information and video available in Portuguese)




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