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Maio Biodiversity Foundation
Nature Conservation Flora & Fauna (page 1)

February 2012

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The Maio Biodiversity Foundation was established in 2010 when the need for conservation efforts became evident in Maio, Cape Verde. The goal of the Foundation is to protect the unique fauna and flora of the island, and at the same time create opportunities and long-term benefits for the people of Maio. The Foundation was approved on March 5th 2010 by the Ministry of Environment.

The Maio Foundation Currently has 4 Conservation Projects:

maio biodiversity foundation, nature conservation in cape verde
  • protecting nesting turtles on the beaches of maio
    Protecting nesting turtles on the beaches of Maio

Protecting Nesting Turtles on the Beaches of Maio

Maio has the second largest common loggerhead turtle population in Cape Verde after Boa Vista. This species is threatened by accidental destruction of nests, killing and egg collection by humans for consumption. The Foundation seeks to employ guards from Maio to look for nests and to patrol beaches from July to October each year.

Monitoring Bird Biodiversity of the Salina

Many migrating birds feed in the Salina, which also a breeding ground for numerous endemic birds. It is crucial to monitor this place in order to determine the possible effects of the expansion of the tourist resorts. Birds were surveyed from December 2010 to February 2011, and it is necessary to continue this project in order to determine long-term trends.

  • monitoring bird biodiversity of the salina
    Monitoring bird biodiversity of the Salina
  • creating a marine and coastal reserve in terras salgadas
    Creating a marine and coastal reserve in Terras Salgadas

Creating a Marine and Coastal Reserve in Terras Salgadas

Terras Salgadas, in the north of Maio, has a diversity of environments, from sand dunes to marine ecosystems to salt marshes. The area has a large nesting community of white-faced storm petrels, and its waters are an important breeding ground for lemon sharks. More than 17 species of whales and dolphins have been reported from the Cape Verde waters. The humpback whale population in the North Atlantic is thought to use the archipelago as a breeding area. In fact, there was a well-equipped whaling station on Maio at the beginning of the 20th century. However, very little is known about the current state of these populations along the coasts of Maio. Hence, the Foundation plans on surveying marine cetaceans and sharks in collaboration with marine biologists, with the objective of creating a marine reserve and of exploring ecotourism as a potential source of income for the island's inhabitants.

Establish a Biodiversity Education and Conservation Center in Maio

The main goal of this center is to strengthen conservation with a focus on education and research, which will take three different forms:

  • A museum about the traditional activities in Maio that pertain to biodiversity (whaling, fishing and salt production in the Salina).
  • Both an inside and an outside classroom for local school children. The center will provide presentations, visits and outdoor activities for the children, in collaboration with their biology teacher.
  • Visitor information and management of tourism in the Salina.
  • establish a biodiversity education and conservation center in maio
    Establish a Biodiversity Education and Conservation Center in Maio


How Can You Help Nature Conservation on Maio?

  • Volunteer
  • Donate
  • Become a friend

How you can help - click here to find out more


Photographs representing the Biodiversity/Nature of Ilha do Maio

photographs courtesy of the Maio Biodiversity Foundation.



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