These Islands are in a protection status was since 1990. There was a urgent need to protect the world’s rarest sea lion, Monachus monachus.
Desertas are located 30 km southeast of Madeira. The reserve includes three Islands: Deserta Grande, Ilhéu Chão and Bugio. In addition, it covers an area of 9672 hectares that includes the underwater area to the Ponta de São Lourenço, to the depth of 150m.
Located about 300 km south of Funchal, the Selvagens Islands are closer to the Canaries than to Madeira.
The Portuguese explorer Diogo Gomes discovered Selvagens islands in the 15th century.
Selvagens Islands are a true ornithological sanctuary. These islands cannot be visited without permission, and there is constant vigilance against poachers.