Portugal Wildlife

An Illustrated Wildlife Biodiversity Catalogue for a

17.5 Hectare (43 Acre) private Nature Reserve in

Baixo Alentejo, Southern Portugal

Google Translate now available on this website! Read this website in any of 90 or more languages. Traduz Google agora disponível neste site! Leia o site em qualquer uma das 90 ou mais línguas.

New Species seen at the nature reserve: A group of three Griffon Vultures !

Number of Species Recorded on the Reserve
Birds 90
Flowers 50
Mammals 8
Butterflies 7
Reptiles 4
Amphibians 4
Dragonflies 3
Trees 7

Our Little Owls are again nesting in a hole in our 200 year old Olive tree this year. Here one of the pair is seen keeping an eye on the nest site from a nearby Sweet Oak. The owls face harassment from Iberian Azurewinged Magpies and a variety of passerines.

New Wildlife Photo Gallery Mashatu, Botswana

2017: We have now put up official "No Hunting" signs all around the wildlife reserve's outer fenceline. So we are now an area where there is "Não Caça" (No Hunting) allowed.

Red over white "No Hunting" Sign - "Não Caça".

April 2017: New species of flower identified. Dipcadi serotinum. Like the bluebell this flower used to be included in the lily family but they have now both been reclassified as members of the Asparagus family. The Dipcadi is sometimes referred to as a 'brown bluebell'.

Number of Species Recorded on the Reserve
Birds 89
Flowers 50
Mammals 8
Butterflies 7
Reptiles 4
Amphibians 4
Dragonflies 3
Trees 7

March 2017: Reserve now expanded to 17.5 Hectares (43 Acres). The reserve now has more than 20 Cork Oaks. And an Olive grov with around 100 Olive Trees that are approximately 70 years old.

Latest flower species: Hoop Petticoat Narcissus

January 2017: The wildlife reserve has just been increased in extent by 2.7 Hectares. It now stands at 14.5 Hectares (36 Acres) !

New Species; Natterjack Toad

New Wildlife Photo Gallery: Kalahari Tswalu South Africa

August 2016:

New Dragonfly species recorded. A Redveined Darter.

Two Sharp-ribbed newts discovered on the reserve. This species is listed as ‘Near Threatened’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Very exciting news indeed.

We are so excitied at having the opportunity to provide a safe home for a near threatened amphibian. Hopefully they will stay in our pond and thrive.

July 2016: Flock of White storks circling over the reserve

June 2016: New species: Spanish Sparrow. Another new species: Iberian Imperial Eagle ! ! !

May 2016: See Iberian Fox Gallery for a truly astonishing sequence of photographs.

April 2016: Wildlife photographed in the Pre-Pyrenees and the Lleida Plains of Catalonia, Spain.

April 2016: Newest species seen on the reserve: Alpine Swift

March 2016: The Bird & Mammal Water Drinking Station Project is now up and running. As the season grows hotter and drier there is sure to be more and more activity at the drinking pond.

Eurasian Jay at new Drinking PondLittle owl in nest tree, an olive

Nest Cam Project 2016. A pair of House Sparrows are starting to nest in Nestbox with VideoCam.

First new Mammal Species of 2016 (Incorrect Trail Cam date) : Common Genet

First new Bird Species of 2016 : Eurasian Wryneck

New Bird Feeder Photos: Bird Feeder Project

 

Finally managed to get a nice trail camera picture showing two Egyptian Mongooses drinking in the middle of the day; Newly seen species: Badger

I have started a Field Guide to the Birds of the Wildlife Reserve which has photos and notes on the status of each bird species found in the reserve.

Lots of News in the 2015 Nesting Season Nest Box Project. Regular Updates with Photos and Video Clips. Lots of Nesting activity ! Also new photos in the Birds gallery.

Little Owls are nesting in a rockpile

Nest Box Project started in December 2014. A number of nest boxes have been erected to entice around 12 different species of birds and bats to nest around the house and barn on the wildlife reserve. Each breeding season updates will be posted about any species that nest.

A Camera Trap Project was started in November 2014. This aims to document the mammals on the wildlife reserve, especially nocturnal ones, using a trail camera that can take night-time photos with infra red. The exciting part of this project is that it is also aimed at photographing an Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) Lince-ibérico. This is the most endangered cat in the world. It was formerly extinct in Portugal but is currently being introduced using Spanish animals.

Original Introduction/Notes to website:

Welcome/Bem vindo to Portugal Wildlife.

This website will gradually develop into a photographic catalogue illustrating the rich biodiversity of a 12 Hectare (30 Acre) farm operated as a Wildlife Reserve in Lower Alentejo (Baixo Alentejo), Portugal. Alentejo means "Across the Tagus River" and this province, the largest in Portugal, runs from Lisbon down to the Algarve. The website is still in the design stage at present and will start to record various animal and plant species starting from Summer 2014.

Photographs will, where possible, be labelled with English, (Latin) and Portuguese names - in that order.

The reserve itself consists of Savanna Oak Woodland (Montado) dominated by Sweet oaks (Quercus rotundifolia) (Azinheira). This steppe-like environment represents a very important and threatened wildlife habitat in Western Europe. Although manmade it has developed over many centuries and is now favoured by a host of rare and threatened species. The special birds present in these areas include :

Great Bustard (Otis tarda) Abetarda ; Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax) Sisão ; Iberian Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti) Águia-imperial ; Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus) Abutre-preto ; Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) Francelho ; Blackshouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) Peneireiro-cinzento ; Red Kite (Milvus milvus) Milhafre-real ; Bonelli's Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) Águia-perdigueira ; Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus) Águia-caçadeira ; Short-toed Snake-Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) Águia-cobreira ; Common Crane (Grus grus) Grou ; Blackbellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis) Cortiçol-de-barriga-preta

Montado is typified by large grassy or scrubby areas dotted with occasional trees, epecially Cork oaks (Quercus suber) (Sobreiro), Sweet oaks (Quercus rotundifolia) (Azinheira) and Olives (Olea europaea) (Oliveira). It represents low-intensity dry-land farming at its best. Few pesticides are used and grazing levels are moderate. The climate in Alentejo is hot, dry summers and cool wet winters. Summer temperatures can exceed 40° C (104° F). An important animal in the maintenance of the ecological balance of the Montado is the Iberian Black Pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) (Alentejano). These animals are encouraged to range freely through the montado woodlands, feasting on acorns. The most highly prized pork is produced when pigs feed mostly on Sweet oak acorns. The nature reserve is in the heartland of the Iberian pig production. Apart from raising pigs, this region is also characterised by agriculture based on dryland cereals and grazing within open woodland.

One way that you can help to conserve this vital habitat for wildlife is to buy cork products. Apart from being used as bottle stoppers, notably for fine wines, cork has many other uses. Cork flooring and wall coverings, insulation, fashion items such as feather light wallets and even shoes. Cork is a wonderful natural product - very light, strong, water resistant, fire retardant and a great insulator. Just by buying wines that use corks you will help to keep the cork forests of Portugal alive. Portugal grows more than 50% of the world's cork and it is a wonderful sustainable natural product that does not harm the trees it is harvested from. In fact Cork Oaks are protected by law in Portugal and can only be cut down with government permission. The insulation properties of cork are so good that key parts of the America Space Shuttle were made of cork.

 

Wildlife Photographic Galleries :

Birds

Mammals

Iberian Fox Gallery

Flowers

Flower Meadows

Butterflies

Reptiles & Amphibians

Dragonflies

Trees

Fungi, Liverworts, Mosses & Lichens

Other Wildlife

Nearby Wildlife

Other Pages :

Bird Water Station Photography Project

Iberian Fox Gallery

Nesting 2017

Mashatu, Botswana

Kalahari Wildlife

Catalonia Wildlife

Bird Feeder Project

Conservation Management

Camera Trap Project

Trail Camera Equipment

Links

Home

 

Webmaster: Phil Perry - Copyright © 2017

Email Contact: lince@portugalwildlife.com

 

 

 

Andalucia Bird Society: A great resource for exchanging and or getting information on many aspects of birding in southern Spain.