Status and Trends of Biodiversity
The Cape Verde archipelago is made up of 10 volcanic islands situated approximately 500km from the West African coast, with a surface area of 403,600km2. Due to its geographical position and its arid meteorological conditions, Cape Verde’s climate is classified as tropical dry. Rainfall is generally weak, not surpassing 300mm annual average. Cape Verde is host to 240 angiosperm species (45 endemic), 273 fish species (70% endemism), and 5 marine turtle species. Statistics show that more than: 26% of the angiosperms, 40% of the bryophytes, 47% of the birds, 25% of the reptiles, 64% of the beetles, 57% of the arachnids, and 59% of the mollusks are classified as threatened. It has also been found that in most high altitude areas, where human disturbance is more intense, the natural vegetation is generally represented in small, residual quantities. Anthropogenic factors with direct and indirect consequences on the vegetation include: pluvial farming; fire wood; overgrazing and the introduction of exotic species.