Rewilding Europe is delighted to welcome a new member from Portugal to the European Rewilding Network. Working to promote the nature-based economic development of the Serra da Estrela region, the Rewilding Geopark Estrela project takes the number of network members to 65 (including Rewilding Europe’s eight operational areas), distributed right across Europe.
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.
Monitoring of raptor species in the Faia Brava Nature Reserve and Côa Valley Special Protection Area (SPA) shows griffon vultures have made a dramatic return to the Western Iberia rewilding area since the 1990s. This bodes well for ongoing rewilding efforts here.
Members of the LIFE project “Club de Fincas por la Conservación del Oeste Ibérico”, including many employees of Rewilding Europe partner Associação Transumância e Natureza, came together late last year in the Western Iberia rewilding area to learn how to build nesting platforms. Encouraging birds to nest in protected areas such as this will help endangered local species such as vultures, eagles and storks.
Would you like to spend your spring and summer surrounded by stunning Portuguese landscapes? For those passionate about wild nature, and who also love communicating about it, our rewilding team in Western Iberia is now offering a unique opportunity.
The Côa Valley Grand Route, a 200 km marked trail that crosses the entire Western Iberia, has been recently launched. The picturesque route connects the river from the spring to the mouth. This is the perfect opportunity for tourists and nature lovers to visit the Western Iberia rewilding area, enjoy its wildlife and discover the beautiful countryside of Portugal.
In the rural backcountry of Northeastern Portugal lies Castelo Rodrigo, a tiny village that any person will be delighted to visit and enjoy. It sits on a hilltop and offers spectacular views over the surrounding land. Land that has been dominated by man since millennia, but where wildlife is now beginning to come back.
The enterprise component of Rewilding Europe is all about the people we are working with to create rewilding enterprises in our rewilding areas. In order for rewilding to succeed, it has to bring benefits for the people who live in those areas. If local people feel the benefits this pleases politicians – and this means a more favourable political climate for rewilding.