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The pilot area PT-1 Castelo Branco, Tejo International, Erges e Pônsul is located in the centre of Portugal. It covers a surface of 131.812 ha. and it is included in the Tejo Intenacional, Erges e Pônsul Special Protection Area (SPA), Tejo Internacional Natural Park and Naturtejo Unesco Geopark, and it is contiguous to the SPA “Tajo Internacional y Riberos” in Spain.

Landscape is dominated by the valley of the Tagus River, rocky slopes with Mediterranean shrubs and scattered cliffs. Away from the valley areas, “montados” (Holm Oak forests) predominate together with cultivated fields and pasture lands.

Land uses in this area are closely related to primary sector. In the past, main uses were extensive agro systems (extensive agriculture and pasture land). Recently, the drift from the country suffered by most rural areas over the last decades has caused the abandonment of traditional uses, which have switched to forestry and hunting.  The land property is mainly private with only 3% of public proprieties.
CasteIo Branco, Tejo Internacional, Erges and Ponsul area includes two municipalities: Castelo Branco and Idanha-a-Nova, with a total of 983 stockbreeders’ exploitations and 48 hunting areas (including touristic hunting areas and local associative hunting areas).

Why is this area important?

The area stands out due to the number of threatened cliff nesting and steppe land birds, such as Black Stork, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Bonelli’s Eagle, Golden Eagle and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse. It includes 36 taxa of flora endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and 6 flora species and 16 prioritary habitats.

However, illegal poisoning is a known problem in the area which mainly affects raptors and scavengers. The pilot area is notably important regarding the conservation of two endangered species: Spanish Imperial Eagle and Black Vulture, which have started to re-colonize the territory (as breeders in the case of Black Vulture). The area is regularly used as feeding and hunting grounds as well, not only by the species present in the area but also coming from nearby reserves.

Discover the area!

Take a look at our Photo Gallery

Naturtejo / Tejo Internacional – Portuguese Tourism Board

Tejo International Natural Park  - Instituto da Conservação da Naturaleza e da Biodiversidade

Tejo Internacional – Quercus

Naturtejo UNESCO Geopark

Câmara Municipal Castelo Branco

Municipio de Idanha-a-Nova

Want to know more?

Freephone against poison
800 500 108

Contact Quercus - National Association for the Preservation of the Environment.

Quercus – Associação Nacional de Conservação da Natureza
Núcleo regional de Castelo Branco
Rua João frade correia lote 7, loja direita,
6000-352 Castelo Branco (Portugal)

Tlm: +351 962946425
Telf/fax: +351 272324272

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