RIBEIRA DO MOSTEIRO

RIBEIRA DO MOSTEIRO

Ribeira do Mosteiro is a key area for landscape connectivity near the Douro river. Here, Rewilding Portugal is implementing ecological restoration actions to make the Greater Côa Valley a place where natural processes and complete food chains play fundamental roles in the landscape, being a stepping stone in the Côa river mouth.

Located on the north bank of the Douro River, the Ribeira do Mosteiro valley is one of the most emblematic places in the Douro International Natural Park, housing a formidable geological, biological and cultural heritage. In this rugged valley, it is possible to observe unique rock formations and walk along the famous Calçada de Alpajares, an ancestral path along which can be found marks of human presence and their coexistence with nature dating back to the Paleolithic.

After millennia of changes in the ecosystem caused by human activity, a large part of the valley is currently in the process of rewilding, with old olive and almond groves adding to their ranks holm oaks, junipers, terebinths and other trees and shrubs that make up the original Mediterranean forest of the region. The escarpments that frame the landscape are a nesting place for threatened birds such as the Egyptian vulture, the peregrine falcon, and the black wheatear, as well as the ever-present griffon vulture. The dramatic cracks and folds in the shale are home to numerous colonies of bats and cliff vegetation. At the bottom of the valley, the Mosteiro stream and its tributaries combat the aridity of the slopes and allow the existence of a great floristic wealth and several examples of centenary trees.

In this area, the work of Rewilding Portugal focuses on ensuring and facilitating the process of rewilding of the landscape, reconciling existing agricultural practices with biodiversity, and reducing the risk of major fires, one of the main threats to the biodiversity of Ribeira do Mosteiro.

Fauna and flora of Ribeira do Mosteiro

 

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