Formerly known as Quinta de Santa Margarida, the most recent area to be managed by Rewilding Portugal has also received a new name, Paul de Toirões, which illustrates the envisioned future for these lands on the eastern edge of the Côa Valley, close to the border with Spain.
Mining, which ceased almost a decade ago, gave rise to one of the largest water surfaces in the entire Côa Valley, and contrary to what happens in the region’s dams and reservoirs, this water is distributed in a great diversity of environments such as lagoons, canals, and permanent and temporary ponds, all interconnected by seasonally flooded wetlands and full of aquatic and riverine vegetation that grows on the former wolfram and sand extraction areas. Around all this water, a young but extensive forest occupies the flat terrain, composed mainly of black oak, holm oak and cypresses. This area is already important for biodiversity, with rich communities of aquatic flora and fauna, and is home to the beautiful striped-shelled tortoise and the black stork, which feed and take refuge here regularly.
Some of the first management measures planned for Paul de Toirões are earth movements in the most recent mining areas, smoothing some slopes, facilitating accesses and reducing the risk to wildlife, as well as increasing the area of flooding. Another of the goals is to promote forest diversification with native species. In a future conditioned by climate change, Paul de Toirões could function as an oasis for wildlife in the Greater Côa Valley, guaranteeing the permanence and return of many essential species to the ecosystem, and demonstrating how rewilding can be a viable solution even in the landscapes most altered by human beings.
Fauna and flora of Paul de Toirões
Watch here the video of the first volunteer activity held in Paul de Toirões rewilding area with Symington Family Estates
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