Cape Verdean BioProvince

This BioProvince (as defined by Armen Takhtajan) comprises the fourteen Atlantic islands of Cape Verde including Fogo, Santiago and Santo Antae. The climate has been described as pleasantly tropical with a rainy season from June and October but may include spectacular rainstorms. It can be much dryer than other parts of Macronesia. Nevetheless the islands were well forested when discovered by the Portuguese in 1460. They are almost entirely volcanic in origin being mostly composed of basalt and phonolite, and there is still some volcanic activity. The eruption on Fogo in 1857 produced lava flows that have still only largely been colonised by lichens. Eruptions also occurred in 1951. The flora, which comprises some 650 indigenous vascular plants, includes two endemic genera (Monoachyron and Tornabenea) and about 92 endemic species. The natural plant formation are now mainly limited to rocky upland areas including upland pasture, upland humid scrub and high altitude vegetation. The indigenous trees, including Acacia albida, Dracaena draco and the endemic Phoenix atlantis (Arecaceae) and Sideroxylon marginata (Sapotaceae) are unable to form closed canopy forest. On other Macaronesian islands forests are largely situated at elevations above the scrub zone in wetter upland areas, but in the more arid climate here scrub is the climatic climax community of the uplands.

The following accounts for this BioProvince have been written or will be written with particular reference to endemic and locally important species. Accounts available are displayed in green or yellow. Those displayed in red are either in the pipeline or awaiting expert contributions.


Major Ecosystems
Endemic Vascular Plant Flora
Bryophyte Flora
Fungus Flora
Lichen Flora
Invertebrate Fauna
Amphibian Fauna
Reptile Fauna
Bird Fauna
Mammal Fauna
Conservation Status