Animal Life

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Take advantage of Feeling Berlenga® 's guided tours around the island to observe these animals

Seabirds

Cory’s shearwater

  • Scientific name: Calonectris borealis
  • Cory’s shearwater is a familiar species in the Berlengas archipelago; it is the only place where these birds nest, outside the Azores and Madeira. Reproduction takes place in every corner of the island, from May to October. If you visit the island during this period, you will certainly hear its characteristic call, accentuated in the silence of the night.

Common murre

  • Scientific name: Uria aalge
  • The common murre is dear to the Berlengas archipelago, and is in fact the symbol of the Nature Reserve. Its appearance is reminiscent of a penguin, with its elongated body and mostly black plumage with a white ventral area. This bird is not easily spotted, but you can take advantage of one of Feeling Berlenga® ‘s tours of the caves and the island to try and see this iconic bird..

Band-rumped storm-petrel

  • Scientific name: Hydrobates castro
  • In the Berlengas archipelago, it is mostly found among the winter nesting population that visits the Farilhões islets.

European shag

  • Scientific name: Phalacrocorax aristotelis
  • The European shag is a species of cormorant. This species is not common in Portugal, and the majority of its population is concentrated in the Berlengas archipelago, particularly on the Berlenga Island.
Mammals

Common minke whale

  • Scientific name: Balaenoptera acutorostrata
  • The common minke whale is a small whale resident in Portugal, so it can be observed regularly in our waters throughout the year. These are solitary whales, yet it is possible to observe small groups, which sometimes approach vessels on lucky occasions. When they jump out of water it is possible to simultaneously observe their spiracle and dorsal fin, but the caudal fin normally does not come to the surface.

Long-finned pilot whale

  • Scientific name: Globicephala melas
  • Despite its name, this small “whale” is, in fact, a dolphin. Although it is regularly spotted along the Portuguese coast, there is no information as to whether it is a resident or visiting species in our waters. Sometimes it is possible to observe groups of dozens of individuals, sometimes accompanying other species such as the common bottlenose dolphin or large whales.

Short-beaked common dolphin

  • Scientific name: Delphinus delphis
  • The short-beaked common dolphin is the most abundant cetacean along the Portuguese coast, and is usually found in large groups, sometimes with several dozen individuals.

Striped dolphin

  • Scientific name: Stenella coeruleoalba
  • The deep and nutritious waters of the Nazaré canyon make it possible to observe this dolphin in the waters surrounding the Berlengas. Striped dolphins rarely accompany boats. However, they are very active above water, and can jump up to 7 meters high!

Risso’s dolphin

  • Scientific name: Grampus griséus
  • In Portugal, Risso’s dolphins can be observed along the entire continental shelf and sometimes in areas closer to the coast in shallower waters. They are not very active animals and rarely approach vessels.

Common bottlenose dolphin

  • Scientific name: Tursiops truncatus
  • Common bottlenose dolphins can be found throughout the temperate and warm waters of the world, and explore ocean and coastal habitats. Common bottlenose dolphins are found all along the Portuguese coast. However, the resident common bottlenose dolphins found in the Sado estuary are particularly iconic. These dolphins form groups of up to several dozen individuals, and it is possible to observe groups of adults of both sexes with their young calves.

All these cetaceans are frequently observed in the waters between Peniche and Nazaré. The Berlengas are one of the privileged spots for observing these mammals. Feeling Berlenga® vessels are often followed by families of common minke whale, short-beaked common dolphins and common bottlenose dolphins during trips to the islands. When this happens, we slow down and make the most of these fantastic sightings! If it just isn’t your lucky day, and you fail to get the attention of these animals, enjoy one of our dolphin watching packages!

Fish
  • Tope (Galeorhinus galeus) – Carreiro dos Cações was named after the tope, which spawned in large numbers in the area;
  • Gilt-head seabream (Sparus aurata);
  • Pagrus (Pagrus spp) – One of the most sought after fish by recreational fishermen in the reserve;
  • Conger eel (Conger conger) – Often observed in the marine caves of the archipelago, where it seeks refuge during the day;
  • Gray triggerfish (Balistes capriscus) – Usually found in large schools which come very close to divers in the Berlengas;
  • Common two-banded seabream (Diplodus vulgaris) – These are very common around the Berlengas and can form large schools containing hundreds of individuals;
  • Ocean sunfish (Mola mola) – Often observed jumping out of the water around the Berlengas;
  • Dusky grouper (Epinephelus marginatus);
  • European pilchard (Sardina pilchardus).

Take advantage of Feeling Berlenga® ‘s diving experiences and observe the underwater biodiversity!

Invertebrates
  • Goose barnacle (Pollicipes policipes) – –The Berlengas archipelago is one of the privileged locations for this type of shellfish, one of the most desirable and sought after on the Portuguese coast;
  • Mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) – The natural characteristics of the island make this mussel, like the goose barnacle, particularly abundant in the Berlengas archipelago;
  • Limpet (Patella vulgata) – Various species of limpet can be found in the rocky areas of the berlengas;
  • Henslow’s swimming crab(Polybius henslowi);
  • Tunicate (Tunicata) – The different colours and the exotic appearance of tunicates make the rocky seabed of the archipelago a very attractive place.
Other Birds
  • Black redstart(Phoenicurus ochrurus) – Very common, this bird can be observed throughout the island of Berlenga;
  • Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) – Easily spotted in the Berlengas, their calls can sometimes be heard in bairro dos pescadores;
  • Common kestrel(Falco tinnunculus) – Found throughout the year in the archipelago.
Reptiles
  • Berlengas lizard (Podarcis carbonelli berlengensis) – Common and abundant throughout the Berlengas Island, the Berlengas Lizard is a subspecies of Carbonell’s wall lizard.

Learn more about the island

Geomorphology

Habitats

Animal Life

Plant Life

Threats

Protection

Reserve Agora