Life on the Island
Ilha do Fogo boasts 150kms of unexplored coral reefs, with over 450 species of corals that we know of. Located in the Primeiras e Segundas Environmental Protection Area (PSEPA), it is considered a crucial marine biodiversity area, with abundant and diverse hard and soft coral communities, mangroves and seagrasses.
There are throngs of colourful fishlife over the reefs and countless invertebrates. Although we haven’t yet explored the area for megafauna, we are perfectly placed in the migratory route of humpback whales, manta rays, and whale sharks.
The encircling coastline and beach are a haven for pink ghost crabs and Sally lightfoot crabs can be seen running around the rocky outcroppings. These charismatic critters are delightful to watch.
Our island exhibits seagrasses on its North side. We have yet to explore the area thoroughly and are confident will reveal the presence of pipefishes and seahorses.
The purpose of our conservation projects has mainly been for the preservation of turtles. On Ilha do Fogo, we are often blessed with the presence of green and hawksbill turtles around our reefs, which also come onto our beaches to nest. It is important that Ilha do Fogo will continuously provide a safe haven for these endangered animals and their hatchlings, and our top priority will be to minimise the impact on their environment.
There are numerous bird and butterfly species on the Ilha do Fogo, and a few other small critters, such as lizards. There are no snakes or dangerous creatures. Entomology enthusiasts would have a field day with the many unidentified species on the island.
To see some of the marine and terrestrial species spotted during a quick trip to the island in March with the South African research team, Sea Search, you can check the list on iNaturalist