The Selvagens are composed of two small groups of islands, of which the Selvagem Grande, Selvagem Pequena and Ilhéu de Fora are the most important.
This natural reserve was created in 1971 (one of the oldest in Portugal) for the necessary protection of the marine avifauna. This Reserve is to the southeast of Madeira and has a total area of 9455 hectares.
Because of the unique conditions offered for the nesting of marine bird species, these islands are also well known as an 'ornithological paradise'. In these islands there are also unique endemic plants.