In the Cape Verde Islands, seabirds have been exploited for centuries, leading to a dramatic decline in their populations. Breeding species are Pterodroma (mollis) feae, Bulweria bulwerii, Calonectris (diomedea) edwardsii, Puffinus assimilis boydi, Pelagodroma marina eadesi, Oceanodroma castro, Phaethon aethereus, Sula leucogaster and Fregata magnificens. All but the smallest petrels suffer from direct human depredation. Alien mammals have been a depressing factor for a long time as well. On some islands and islets seabirds have become completely extinct due to this combined depredation. A National Parks and Protected Areas Program was launched in 1988, under the auspices of the National Agricultural Research Institute and the International Council for Bird Preservation (Netherlands Section). Besides fieldwork, emphasis is laid on education and information. As a first result, important seabird islets have recently been declared to be protected areas by law.