Sunday, 3 June 2012

Azores Biodiversity

The Azores consist of 9 small islands made from volcano eruptions, located in the Atlantic Ocean. It takes about 2 hours to fly from Lisbon to the Azores. The total area is about  2.333 km2. There are great variation in the size of the islands. São Miguel is the biggest with 747 km2. Corvo  is the smallest with only 17 km2.

The Portuguese post office (CTT) has issued a new collection of stamps dedicated to the ponds of the Azores on April 22, 2009. The issue is a joint effort between CTT and the Institute of the Conservation of the Nature which celebrates the diversity of life in the region and ongoing efforts to protect habitats.


The four stamps show images of ponds with birds, fishes or trees. The 32 centimos stamp represents Comprida Lake, in Flores Island with a Scolopax rusticola, a very common bird that can be found across Asia and Europe, hence why it's known as Eurasian Woodcock.

The 68 centimos stamp  represent Lake of Caldeirão in Corvo Island with  the beautiful butterfly, a Hipparchia azorina that is endemic to Azores and is currently threatened.

The 80 centimos stamp represent  Lake of Capitão in Pico with  the Dragonfly , a Anax imperator, an amazing blue variety.

The 2 euros stamp represent Lagoinha in Terceira with the fruit is taken from a tree endemic to Azores, the Juniperus brevifolia. , a Cedar tree. Meanwhile the one of two souvenir sheet were issued depicted  underwater water creature like fish, shell, and octopus. Other sheet depicted  three species of ducts .


Lagoa das Sete Cidades ("Lagoon of the Seven Cities") is a twin-lake situated in the crater of a massive volcano on the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. It consists of two ecologically-different small-lakes connected by a narrow passage (and crossed by a bridge), located inside a dormant volcano on the western third of the island of São Miguel. The Lagoa das Sete Cidades part of a natural landscape of communitarian interest: it is the largest body of water in the region and one of the most important freshwater resources in the archipelago.


In the mid-20th Century, the destruction of forested areas and their transformation into grassland and pasture in the natural catchment area of the lake, increased the run-off of nutrients, particularly phosphorus and nitrogen, from the steep land. Lacking a domestic sewage system until recently, the community of Sete Cidades contributed to gradual pressures on the ecosystem, resulting in an over-abundant development of rooted aquatic macrophytes and algae in the water bodies.

High levels of cynotoxins were found in 2002 in the Blue Lake. Lake water within the watershed is not potable, but recreational use, like swimming and windsurfing, were common practices, although advisories were placed along the lakes to warm of bloom toxicity and associated health dangers.

The Plano de Ordenamento da Bacia Hidrográfica da Lagoa das Sete Cidades ( Sete Cidades Watershed Land Management Plan) was implemented to evaluate the conditions of the lake, establish methods of interdiction and monitorization of landuse initiatives.

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