Tag: Faia Brava Reserve
An inaugural grant from the newly established Endangered Landscapes Programme will enable Rewilding Europe and local partners to develop a 120,000-hectare wildlife corridor in the Greater Côa Valley in northern Portugal. By scaling up current rewilding efforts in Western Iberia, this will transform a region with high levels of rural depopulation and species loss into one with new opportunities for both wild nature and people. The 2.6 million euro grant complements another for 2.1 million euros for a record-breaking wetland and steppe restoration project in the Danube Delta.
This October, a group of volunteers from the Associação Transumância e Natureza (ATN), partner of Rewilding Europe in Western Iberia, participated in a work camp where they recovered a ruined house in Ribeira do Mosteiro nature reserve. The restoration of the property will continue and once finished, ATN will use the house for their various activities.
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.
Portugal, or at least the region in which we stayed, was far richer in wildlife than most if not all of Denmark. The diversity and sheer number of bird species we witnessed far outcompeted anything I’ve seen even in the largest nature reserves in my country. Even so, when we entered the Faia Brava reserve, the difference was immediately noticeable. While the towns and arable fields of the surrounding landscapes had been home to a great number of animals, the reserve was in a league of its own.
The dramatic landscape of Western Iberia in Portugal where the Côa river is carving its deep path through the mountains is home to a vast variety of wildlife. Animal species of all sizes, shapes and colors inhabit land, skies and waters of the Côa Valley, however a great number of them are hard to spot. Anyone can see large herbivores from afar, but many other species are only visible through lenses of wildlife cameras – the invisible eyes in the wild.
End of February is always quite exciting in the Western Iberia rewilding area. It is time to start counting all the calves and foals which are born since December. And every year, the update is even better than the year before: 12 new Garrano foals and 5 Maronesa calves were born this season.
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.