Desert Islands Nature Reserve
The Natural Reserve of Desert Islands has a total area of 12586 hectares, is bounded by the 100m isobath and includes all islands and islets. Through the status of full protection of the ecosystems are safeguarded entire land area (islet Chão, Deserta Grande, Howler and adjacent islets) and all marine adjacent area, located south of the western tip of the dock and Ponta da Faja Grande this. All marine area adjacent to the north of the locations mentioned above is within an area of partial protection.
The Desert Islands comprise three islands: Islet Chao, Deserta Grande and Howler.
The islet Ground is the smallest of the three islands. Presents the form of plateau with an almost constant altitude of 80 meters, reaching a maximum of 98 meters in the extreme north, where there is a lighthouse. To the north, is a small island 50 meters high, called Farilhão. It has about 1600 meters long and 500 meters wide.
The Great Desert has an elongated shape, and is the largest and highest of the three islands. Develops a length of 11,700 meters from Ponta da Castanheira the north to the tip of the tobacconist, the south with a maximum width of 1900 meters. Reaches a maximum altitude of 479 meters. Along the coast are numerous caves dug into the rock, beaches and some small coves. The larger coves are the Faja Grande and the Faja Dock result of simultaneous landslides, west and east, which occurred in 1894.
The howler is long and narrow and has the shape of an arc. It is the most rugged and jagged islands. Extends over 7500 meters in length from the tip of the Tortoise, the North, the needle tip to the south, and reaches a maximum width of 700 meters. The maximum altitude is 388 meters