Biodiversity at Risk


The island over the years has been used as an “acclimation garden”;  it gathers climate conditions conducive to cultivate a large number of species. The land is extremely fertile and the subtropical climate is favourable to grow almost everything here. Plants and animals that have been introduced to a new ecosystem are known as exotic species. 


In this video, biologists Juan Silva and Miguel Sequeira and geographer Raimundo Quintal call for citizen participation and raise awareness about the risks of growing non-endemic plants in the Madeira soil.

Related Videos

  • Learn how to identify the invasive plant species and NEVER USE THEM

Online information is available that explains how to correctly identify invasive species that are problematic  in Portugal (e.g.: invasive species fact sheets);

If you already know what the invasive species are, educate others!


  • Tread lightly

Whether you are trekking, hiking or just passing through, be sure to clean your shoes, clothes and bags – Seeds, spores, fruits, insects and other living creatures including invasive species, can be easily transported inadvertently;

When visiting a Protected Area, be especially aware of the species/parts of species that you may be transporting; also clean your vehicle’s tyres thoroughly before you travel;

Do not be tempted to take an exotic plant or animal with you.


  • Participate in events to control invasive species populations

There are voluntary activities for controlling invasive species throughout Portugal. Participate!


  • If you find invasive species in a critical situation such as a highly problematic invasive species for sale…

Make contact with the seller and alert them to the importance of removing the plant.

If you are not successful, call the SOS Line Ambiente e Território: 808 200 520 or write to



Many tropical and subtropical plants of rare beauty arrived on the island, at the hands of merchants of the 18th century.

Many parks were created for these plants to adapt and develop on the island. Today these parks may be visited.