Biodiversity of Sao Tome and Principe
Despite the small size of STP, the tropical climate and the relief of the islands, as well as their geographical location, gave rise to a remarkable richness in terms of ecosystems and biodiversity. Sometimes called the "Galapagos of Africa", STP is ranked among the countries with the highest levels of endemic species in the world.
Worldwide, the Obô Natural Park was considered the 32nd most important protected area for the conservation of mammals, birds and amphibians, the 17th if only endangered species are considered. Plant species are estimated at 1,200 species of flora in the archipelago, of which about 900 are indigenous, 300 introduced and 148 are endemic (14% of the national flora).
The islands are also rich in terms of faunal diversity. Endemism is high among land snails, with around 60 endemic species. Among butterflies, the country has about 109 endemic species and native vertebrates include a rate of 60 endemic ones. The terrestrial and freshwater herpetofauna of STP consists of 30 species. This includes 22 species of reptiles, of which c. of 18 are currently considered endemic. In addition, there are 8 amphibians all endemic. The islands are home to at least 89 species of birds. There are 28 reproductive endemics including 62 land birds, 12 seabirds and 20 waterfowl species.
The STP archipelago has a large maritime territory of 160,000 km2 and holds two ecologically and biologically sensitive areas (EBSAs): The Tinhosas Islands, which provide an important nesting habitat for more than 300,000 migratory seabirds but also attract essential marine megafauna and Equatorial Tuna Production Zone that is important to the life cycles of several large, commercially valuable, pelagic and migratory fish species. Also noteworthy are the presence of species such as: Hammerhead Shark, Sol Mola Fish, Whale Shark, Manta Rays; and the presence of five of the seven species of sea turtles in the world, including four that nest on the islands' beaches.
São Tomé, 26 de Julho de 2023