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Cape Verde Homes

Luxury Townhouses in 2009

NEWS ALERT: Exclusive Luxury Townhouses are soon to be built with the most stunning ocean views in Sao Vicente. Spacious 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms with 2 En-suite and infinity pool. Be sure to complete the Property Form for more details and read more on Sao Vicente. These Townhouses are believed to double in value by 2011 when the International Airport will be open. Alternatively, you can request a property pack by calling our UK Office on 0208 517 8856.

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Cape Verde Plant and animal life

On islands higher than 1,000 feet, which includes most of the larger islands, elevations are great enough to generate rainfall on the windward slopes. Grasses and some pine plantations are found in these relatively moist locations. The leeward slopes, however, exhibit a characteristic rain shadow effect that produces desert conditions, and the sparse shrub cover almost disappears. The shrubs remaining in these areas are mostly thorny or bitter; some are toxic. A sea mist on the higher hills permits some agriculture, and irrigated valley bottoms are densely cultivated. Salt areas on Maio and Sal have interesting xerophilous plants.

The scarcity of water limits the number of land turtles in the archipelago, but two species of sea turtles lay their eggs on the sandy shores of the uninhabited islets. There are many geckos, lizards, and several species of skinks. A species of giant skink is protected by law, but it may be extinct. There are 19 known species of butterflies, but none is endemic, and all the species are of African origin.

There are 105 known species of birds, of which only 38 breed regularly, including four species of petrels and two of shearwaters. Other bird species include the greater flamingo, the frigate bird and the buzzard (both nearly exterminated), the Egyptian vulture, the Cape Verde Islands kite, and the red-billed tropic bird. Several other birds are represented by local species, of which the kingfisher is among the most conspicuous. The only truly endemic species, however, are the cane warbler and the Raso lark, which is restricted to Raso, one of the smallest uninhabited islets. The rest of the birds are overseas migrants. Remarkably, gulls and terns do not breed on the islands.

Mammals of Cape Verde include the feral goats found on Fogo, the descendants of domestic goats that were brought to the islands. The islands' rodent population probably originated with rodents brought on early ships. The long-eared bat is the only indigenous mammal.

Species of turtle breed on Boa Vista and these can be seen coming ashore at night to lay eggs, at certain times of year. Boa Vista has one of the largest turtle breeding grounds in the world for loggerhead, hawksbill, leatherback and green turtles. They land in summer to breed.The vast marine turtles site at Ervatao beach on sparsely populated Boa Vista was discovered quite recently. It is the world's third most important loggerhead nesting site. Environmentalists fear that Cape Verde's growing tourism industry will wipe out also this nesting site. Slowly dragging its shell onto the beach, a turtle emerges from the ocean. It is midnight and the moon is casting its shadow over the remote, white-sandy coastline of Boa Vista. The slow turtle, if not disturbed, will make a nest for more than 40 whitish, golf ball-sized eggs and return to the ocean. Every year, from late May to September, more than 3,000 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) come ashore to Cape Verde's beaches, particularly at Ervatao beach, the third most important loggerhead nesting site in the world after Oman's Massirah Island and the Florida Keys. Amazingly enough, the Boa Vista site was discovered only a few years ago.

Their journeys are among the longest in the animal kingdom and they have largely remained a mystery until now. An international team of scientists has uncovered the migratory secrets of endangered loggerhead turtles in West Africa and the results could have huge implications for strategies to protect them. In a paper in the journal Current Biology, Drs. Brendan Godley and Michael Coyne and an international team describe how they used satellite tracking systems to follow the journeys of ten turtles from Boa Vista, which is one of the world's largest nesting sites for loggerheads and also a hotspot for industrial fishing. What they found could turn current conservation strategies upside down, as the team discovered the turtles adopted two distinct approaches to finding food, linked to their size. Previously it was thought that hatchlings left the coastal region to forage far out at sea before returning, later in life, to find food closer to shore. However the new findings show that the oceanic habitats contained far larger animals than was previously thought. The team tracked the turtles as they left nesting sites, following them for up to two years over ranges that covered more than half a million square kilometres.

Research* shows that in 2000 1.4 billion hooks were cast into the world's oceans through industrial fishing. It's thought that more than 200,000 loggerhead turtles were incidentally caught by fisherman around the world scouring the waters for other species such as tuna and swordfish. Of these, tens of thousands are thought to die as a result. 37% of this fishing effort was in the Atlantic and a major hotspot for fishing is found off West Africa, the region where the Cape Verdean turtles reside. In recent years marine turtle researchers have been using satellite telemetry to track turtle migrations. Satellite transmitter tags are attached to the shell of the turtle so that every time the turtle surfaces to breathe, the tag transmits the turtle's position, as well as other information (e.g. depth and duration of dives), to satellites orbiting above, which then relay the data by e-mail to the computer of the scientist who attached the tag. It is estimated that no more than 300 tourists currently visit the turtle breeding beaches on Boa Vista annually. 

Importing Animals, Food and Plants etc.

The import of animals, foods or products of animal origin must always be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the sanitary veterinary services of the country of origin. This certificate should characterize the sanitary state of the merchandise and the epizootologic state of the exporting country. It must also attest that the referred merchandise fulfills the established technical norms for the import of these products

According to the Legislative-Decree nº 9/97 the export and import of vegetables and vegetable products such as seeds, fruits, plants, flowers are subject to sanitary control at the sea or air port of entry open to international traffic. These products are subject to inspection in order to look for the presence of vegetable or animal organisms or pathogenic agents harmful or potentially harmful to vegetables and/or vegetable products in the national territory. The sanitary inspector may decide to lift samples out for laboratory examination, and, if necessary, quarantine the product. If an inadequate sanitary state is confirmed, the product may be submitted to decontamination or disinfecting, or it may be returned to the country of origin. Ministerial Decree nº 55/97 indicates the ports and airports through which the import and export of vegetables, parts of vegetables and vegetable products may take place. The control points are in the dependence of the Vegetable Protection Services of the Agriculture Directorate.