The project includes a budget for land purchases in core areas, following a ‘stepping stone’ strategy. The aim is to purchase two new areas and to close some gaps in the existing core area of Faia Brava.
To scale up the efforts of conservation in the acquired land, stewardship agreements will be signed in the buffer area with neighbouring landowners for habitat restoration actions and on a larger scale with hunter associations that manage hunting rights in larger areas.
Further acquisitions beyond the scope of this project will follow different approaches. The goal is that during the length of the project, land acquisition using other sources can scale up the amount of land for wildlife conservation.
New protection legal status for the Lower Côa Valley
The project will explore the possibility of creating a new protection status for the Côa Valley area, based on the archaeological heritage and natural capital in the lower Côa Valley.
A viability study will be elaborated, including ecological, social, economic and administrative aspects of a legal status for at least 35,000 hectares (and 10,000 hectares of core area) that protects the archaeological and natural heritage of Vale do Côa SPA and Côa Archaeological Park. This will be promoted through an innovative participatory management framework. If the viability study conclusions are positive, an official proposal will be presented to the Portuguese government.
Sites will be identified where grassland restoration measures may provide benefits to prey species of wolf and birds of prey. Landscape heterogeneity will be favoured in areas of shrub encroachment and areas where the seed bank has been affected due to the recurring fires will be restored. These restored sites will also improve the connectivity within the project area.