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Fauna and Flora: Exploring Sete Cidades

 

S Miguel, the Azores, Sete Cidades Lake
Credits: visitazores.com
The bio-diversity of trees and plants of the Azores Islands is fascinating. Much of it was imported from around the world and each island has its own look, feel and climate.

Looking around the blue and green crater lakes of Sete Cidades (Seven Cities), on São Miguel Island, you will find in the highest areas different types of flora such as ericas flowers and endemic plants as heydychium and hydrangeas.

The Sete Cidades’ Lake, with the green and the blue lakes, is a mountain area with interior cliffs, deep ravines and ridges where torrential waters run. It has also an urban area, the Sete Cidades region, farmlands, and forest areas of Japanese cedar’s cultivation. The “Pico das Águas”, with 2,778 ft. of altitude, is the highest elevation in this area. And, this diversity is home to hundreds of different species of fauna and flora.

This area is one of the biggest calderas in the Azores and its slopes are usually really steep, what make it possible to find traces of the indigenous flora of the Azores. In this area you may found important endemic species such as Azores Juniper (Juniperus brevifolia), Angelica, Holly, Heather (Erica azorica), Daisies, as well as mosses, among others.

Sete Cidades lake, the Azores

The Sete Cidades Lake is also an important zone for migrating birds, some of which are endangered. Here you may find different endemic birds of the Azores, such as the Azores Wood Pigeon, Common blackbird and Goldcrests of the Azores.

In Lake’s water, there are several species of introduced fish such as Carp, Pike, Perch, Trout and the Redhead fish.

Impressive is also the Azorean dedication to keeping the islands naturally pristine. For the second year in a row, the European Coastal and Marine Union has named the Azores as the Top European ‘green’ destination. The National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations has also named the Azores islands as the world’s second most appealing islands destination in it fourth annual Destination Scorecard survey. The Azores were outscored only by Faroe islands, and received the title of “Authentic, unspoiled, and likely to remain so.”

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