Sao Tome, Principe, beach

São Tomé & Principe – wildlife

The wildlife of the islands of Sao Tome and Principe is composed of its flora and fauna. Always been separate from mainland West Africa, oceanic islands Sao Tome and Principe have a relatively low diversity of species, restricted to those that have managed to cross the sea to the islands. However the level of endemism is high with many species occurring nowhere else in the world.

Sao Tome, shrewZoom
Sao Tome shrew close up
The diversity of mammals is low and there is only one endemic terrestrial mammal, the Sao Tome Shrew. There are several bats including the recently-described Free tailed Bat. Various cetaceans such as the Humpback Whale occur offshore. A number of species have been introduced by man such as the Mona Monkey.

At least 114 bird species have occurred on the islands and there are about 26 endemics, depending on taxonomy. The islands' birds include the world's largest sunbird and the smallest ibis. Large seabird colonies are found on some of the smaller islets. Several of the country's birds are considered to be threatened with extinction and three, the Dwarf Olive Ibis, Sao Tome Fiscal and São Tomé Grosbeak, are endangered.

There are about 895 species of plants native to the islands, of which 95 are restricted to São Tomé and 37 occur only on Príncipe.