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Habitat Lince Abutre gives answers to hunters of São Brás de Alportel
22 October 2012

One of the main aims of Habitat Lince Abutre LIFE project is to inform and raise environmental awareness of the local populations of the project’s intervention area. Therefore, several awareness meetings have been promoted to let know this nature conservation project and reinforce the need for a jointly effort for the preservation of the Iberian lynx, the black vulture and their natural habitat, the Mediterranean landscape.
One of the target groups that has earned our special attention is local and regional stakeholders, that gathers different sectors that in a direct or indirect way depend or are connected to the Mediterranean landscape, like agriculture, hunting, forestry, trade (e.g. handicrafts, spirits, jams), tourism or even associations for environment and local development.

The project’s initiative to promote one of this gatherings in São Brás de Alportel, at Caldeirão Mountain, was promptly accepted by the civil parish, that saw in this event an unique opportunity to get the so much needed answers to a set of doubts raised through times by many of this stakeholders. The deficient synergy between these different sectors and the scarcity of information made available by relevant authorities, took about 40 people, most of them managers of local hunting clubs and associations, to gather at this unparalleled event to discuss the importance of this project, the Iberian lynx and the mountain’s potentiality.



One of the most discussed themes was the dramatically reduction of the local populations of wild rabbit, the Iberian lynx’s main prey and one of the region’s most important game species, having discussed and shared experiences about different measures for its recovery. Another theme highly debated, was the limitation of the forestry measures announced after the wildfire that on last July caused the loss of more than 7 thousand hectares of forest and bushes in the county of São Brás de Alportel, an area corresponding to 46% of its total territory. The talk extended through the night, with the demystification of the local perception of snakes’ ‘releases’ and the increase of the number of foxes (an opportunistic predator considered by many hunters as a plague, due to their supposedly pressure on small game species).


         At the end of the meeting, the participants were invited to visit the exposition of the comics ‘Iberian lynx: its history in Portugal’, that will remain in exhibition at the headquarters of the civil parish of São Brás de Alportel until November 8 (learn more here).

The challenge of articulating different knowledge (science and local), involving stakeholders and local communities in matters relevant to their daily life, such as it is the preservation of the Mediterranean forest, was largely achieved.

We thank for the presence of all the participants and the civil parish of São Brás de Alportel, for having been such marvelous hosts and for promoting the disclosure of this event among the sambransense community.