Terrain shapes and bedrock
COUNTRYAAH, the islands in the isolated archipelago rise from the
Cape Verde Plateau and have been formed by lifting the
oceanic crust in combination with volcanic eruptions. The
only now active volcano is Pico do Cano on the island of Fogo, which reaches 2 829 m above sea level. and forms a
large ash and lava cone inside a caldera. The last outbreak
was in 1951, when lava flowed out of a number of laterocars;
earlier outbreaks took place in 1799 and 1783.
In the northern group of six larger islands, Barlavento,
"the islands above the wind", are the western high and have
an uneven topography, while the two easternmost islands, Sal
and Boa Vista, are flat and low.
In the southern archipelago, Sotavento, "the islands
under the wind", is also the easternmost island, Maio, low
and even, while São Tiago with the peak Pico da Antonia
reaches 1,392 and Brava 1,100 m above sea level.
All the islands have been greatly eroded, especially by
the windblown dust, which has given them a toned appearance.
The soil cover on the islands mainly consists of rock soil
and other incompletely transformed soils.
The surrounding sea gives Cape Verde a climate of even
and moderate heat. The Northeast Passage is completely
predominant and often brings in desert dust from Africa at
the beginning of the year, so that the sunlight is obscured.
February is the coolest month with an average temperature of
22 °C, while September is the warmest with 27 °C. During
August - October, an average of 20 mm of rain falls,
otherwise drought prevails. Bergen receives some more
rainfall, e.g. Praia on São Tiago which gets 240 mm/year.
Plant-and animal life
The higher islands that get enough rain have a vegetation
of grass and shrubs (and some pine plantations), otherwise
the desert or semi-desert prevails. There are about 300
species of vascular plants, of which some 90 are endemic.
The only native terrestrial vertebrate animals are a
long-eared bat, several species of lizards and an African
turtle (Peluʹsios suʹbniger). There are also wild
goats and rodents introduced. About 110 species of birds
have been observed, of which 38 are nesting. Two species of
seals are endemic.
Cape Verde had no national parks or major nature reserves