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Madeira's Nature Reserve

Despite having one of the most densely populated regions in Europe the Madeira Archipelago has been quietly proclaimed back to Nature. Surprising even many visitors and even some of the local residents more than 60% of the island is now a declared Nature Reserve.
In 1982 the Regional Government of Madeira declared approximately two thirds of the main island a natural park. It was further proclaimed that all natural wildlife and greenery be protected: it is not permitted to pick, capture or disturb native species, nor is it possible to grant permission to export any live specimens of indigenous species off of Madeira.


Illustration by Elisabethe Henriques
in Guia de Campo das Aves do Parque Ecológico do Funchal
(Cadernos do Parque Ecológico nº 1)

A rare species. The Columba Trocaz. Or Long Toed Wood Pigeon or Laurel Pigeon

The "Parque Natural da Madeira" was established not only to preserve the precious "Laurissilva" (Laurel Forest) but also to protect 1 of 2 endemic wildlife species: the Laurel or Long Toed Wood Pigeon (illustration on the left). The other being the Pterodroma Madeira also known as the Freira da Madeira, Zino's Petrel or Madeira Petrel.

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