Volcanic archipelago

From the air, the island of Príncipe is a vivid green, with lush volcanic slopes falling precipitously into the sea and sandy beaches dotted along its coastline. Part of the archipelago of São Tomé & Príncipe, the island is located just above the equator off the west coast of Africa and is home to many species that are found nowhere else on Earth.

Despite being Africa’s second-smallest nation, the country is a treasure trove of biodiversity with a surprising number of endemic bird, amphibian and reptile species. Príncipe’s forests are among the most biodiverse in Africa, and are comparable to other oceanic islands such as the Galapagos in terms of the number of endemic species (those found nowhere else on earth).

Príncipe’s coastal waters, meanwhile, fall within the Gulf of Guinea marine biodiversity hotspot and support high numbers of coral reef fish and mollusc species that are unique to the area, as well as providing important breeding grounds for hawksbill, green and leatherback turtles.

Sadly, all this is threatened by human activities. Nearly all of the country’s lowland forest has already been disturbed or altered, while its unique coastal waters are under threat from overfishing and other damaging fishing practices.

São Tomé and Príncipe facts
Country in Africa

Size (land & water):

964 km²

Population (2016 est.):

197,541

GDP per capita (2016 est.):

US$3,300

The archipelago nation of São Tomé & Príncipe is located just above the equator off the west coast of Africa.

100%

of Príncipe’s amphibians are endemic.

57%

of the country’s bird species are endemic.

Our work to protect biodiversity in São Tomé and Príncipe

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is focusing on Príncipe where we are working closely with our local NGO partner to enhance conservation on this stunningly biodiverse island.

To date, this work has included surveying Príncipe’s forests, shorelines and seascapes, and building relationships with local communities and agencies to learn how forest and marine resources are being used. We are also helping to tackle a destructive form of honey collection that involves burning bee colonies.

In addition we are directly supporting our local partner, the Príncipe Trust, to strengthen its capacity to deliver a growing and effective programme of conservation and community activities on the island.

Learn more about our work in São Tomé and Príncipe