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Fogo Biosphere Reserve, Cabo Verde

The youngest and only volcanically active island in the south of the Cabo Verde archipelago, Fogo Biosphere Reserve culminates at an altitude of 2,829 metres. It is home to various indigenous species, such as birds and reptiles, including the rare endemic López-Jurado's Half-toed Gecko (Hemidactylus lopezjurado), Vaillant’s Mabuya (Chioninia vaillantii xanthotis) and marine turtles (Green turtle and Olive Ridley).

Designation date: 2020

Regional network:  AfriMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface: 102,142.03 ha (Terrestrial: 47,074.19 ha; Marine: 55,067.83 ha)

    • Core area(s): 6,918.95 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 15,031.3 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 80,191.76 ha

    Location: 120225,941; 28392,592

    Administrative Authorities

    Alexandre Nevsky Gomes Medina Rodrigues
    National Directorate of Environment
    Chã d’Areia, CP 332 – A
    Cidade da Praia, Ilha de Santiago
    Cabo Verde

    Tel.: (00238) 516 23 60 | (00238) 333 71 71

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The Fogo Biosphere Reserve is located to the west of Senegal in the Western Atlantic Ocean. The biosphere reserve is a part of the Cabo Verde archipelago, and consists of the Fogo Island and marine space surrounding it.  The region is home a plethora of native vegetation including the endemic cow tongue(Echium vulcanorum), a flowering plant with medicinal and dietary purposes. The biosphere reserve is home for many species of terrestrial creatures including the rare López-Jurado's Half-toed Gecko(Hemidactylus lopezjuradoi). 

    Soaring above the coastal systems is the Fea's petrel (Pterodroma feae). Diving into the marine ecosystems are the short beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), loggerhead turtle (Acanthocybium solandri), and Mackerel scad (Decapterus macarellus). The island is the youngest and only volcanically active island in the Cabo Verde achipelago. 


    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    The Fogo Biosphere reserve is home to 61 communities with about 48,700 inhabitants. The volcanic rock creates a fertile soil that is perfect for cultivating the artisinal Cha wine. The rich marine ecosystems provide the inhabitants with bountiful fisheries. The Feasts of the Bandeiras, also known as the Feasts of the Popular Saints is popular festival celebrating various saints with an emphasis on St. Philip, St. Sebastian, St. Paul, St. Peter and St. John the Baptist (Banderona). These celebrations are characterized by their mast-laying ceremony, as well as the dance of “canizade” an expression of the African origins of the inhabitants. 




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    Last updated: November 2020