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SPEA is an Environmental not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support research and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, by promoting sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.
Home  > Priolo
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Priolo
The most threatened and the second rarest bird in Europe.

Azores Bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina) - Priolo

Priolo (Pyrrhula murina) is an endemic species of São Miguel island, more especifically of the mountain area in the eastern part of the island that comprises the councils of Nordeste and Povoação.

This bird breeds in Azorean Laurel forest, in the months of June to August. During the summer it feeds esentially in open areas and in the winter it stays in the high native forest. Generally its diet is based on seeds, flowers and spores of ferns.

Priolo is a small bird, about 15 to 17 cm and a weight of 30g. Its head, wings and tail are black and the bar on the wings and upper tail are brownish. Both sexes are identical, having small differences only detected by hand. The contact call is a short, flute-like and melancholic whistle phew which is very distinctive.





The greatest threats to Priolo are the intensive use of land, wich significatively reduces Laurel Forest, Priolo's main habitat, and the fast growing of invasive species that have been taken space for native species to grow.

Several projects have been developed to protect Priolo and Laurel Forest. The last was the LIFE-Priolo project, which gave rise to the Priolo's Environmental Center.

In 2003 the priolo population was estimated in 400 individuals limited to the remaining fragments of native vegetation, making priolo a 'Critically Endangered' species. The conservation actions in SPA Pico da Vara/Ribeira do Guilherme, contributed to the improvement of the species conservation status.

Nowadays, priolo is an 'Endangered' species, due to the programme of native habitat recovery and environmental education of LIFE-Priolo Project in colaboration with the Priolo's Environmental Center, which highlights the success and importance of this project.

For more information on Priolo, Laurel Forest and the LIFE-Priolo Project, click here.

Listen to Priolo here

Photo by Pedro Monteiro


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