In 2014, the wildlife monitoring team in the Western Iberia rewilding area placed a wildlife camera in the Faia Brava nature reserve, next to a carcass of a Maronesa cow that died naturally. The intention was to monitor the use of the carcass by scavengers and other animals. One day, the camera mysteriously disappeared from the location and was recently found intact but without power. The images discovered on the memory card revealed what really happened.
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Wildlife Portugal, a wildlife tour operator, has become the fourth recipient of a Rewilding Europe Capital (REC) loan in the Western Iberia rewilding area. Wildlife Portugal is specialised in bird tours within the region and specifically in Faia Brava nature reserve. This enterprise focusses on wildlife watching, nature conservation and education.
Star Camp – a unique safari-style camp overlooking Portugal’s Côa Valley, opened up in June to welcome and host its very first guests. This nature traveler’s dream was an idea conceived by Rewilding Europe back in 2013. Through collaboration with the Associação Transumância e Natureza (ATN), our main partner in Western Iberia and sole owner of the Faia Brava Reserve, this idea became reality making the Star Camp Europe’s first real safari-style accommodation.
The celebration of the 15th anniversary of Associação Transumância e Natureza (ATN) on 12–14 June will mark the great progress that has been made with rewilding of the Côa Valley in the Portuguese part of the Western Iberia rewilding area. Among others, the Faia Brava Star Camp will be launched, a simple and imaginative bush camp beautifully located in the reserve, developed by local entrepreneurs with technical, financial and promotional support from Rewilding Europe.
From 25 November to 15 December 2014, eleven local entrepreneurs in the Western Iberia rewilding area received specialised training for guiding tourists in the Faia Brava reserve. The main attendees were owners of local rural houses and tour operators, as well as several individuals from the region who have dreamt to become nature guides.
“Discover Wild Portugal” is the fantastic Grand Prize (for two!) in the December draw of the Rewilding Europe Travel Club. An unforgettable five-day trip in the Western Iberia rewilding area, where the Côa river is carving its deep path through the mountains, in and around the Faia Brava reserve!
Early this spring we were the guests of the Faia Brava Reserve and of Campanários de Azaba Biological Reserve, Rewilding Europe’s two local partners in Western Iberia, right on the border between Spain and Portugal. Campanários de Azaba Biological Reserve, the two partners of Rewilding Europe in Western Iberia. Five fantastic days in the wilds.
Since the beginning of our work in Western Iberia last year, a lot of attention has been given to bringing back wildlife, including rewilding horses and bovines. To scale up the efforts in the Faia Brava Reserve in north-eastern Portugal, a 25,000 ha area along the Côa River has been selected for the return of Iberian ibex, red deer and roe deer.
A 12-page story was published in the September issue of the National Geographic Magazine, Dutch/Belgian edition. NGM Staff writer Pancras Dijk visited the rewilding areas Campanarios de Azaba and Faia Brava in Western Iberia, both parts of the Rewilding Europe initiative. The opening spread can be seen here.
The release of 10 Sorraia horses in the Greater Côa Valley in northern Portugal will increase natural grazing, reduce wildfire risk and boost nature-based tourism.