Project | Area of Intervention | Guadiana Valley | 
SIC Guadiana
Guadiana pSCI
Natura network code: PTCON0036

The Site of Community Importance of Guadiana, with an area of 39,257 ha, is mainly riparian, as it includes Guadiana River and many of its tributaries, where embedded valleys surrounded by cliffs shelter a very diverse Mediterranean flora. Here the landscape is characterized by a mosaic of plains where scrublands (dominated by Cistus sp), holm oak (Quercus rotundifolia) woodlands (montados) and juniper Juniperus turbinata ssp. turbinate arborescent shrublands intersperse with extensive crop cultures and some traditional olive groves, although little productive, because soils (mainly shale) are poor and inadequate for agriculture. The characteristics of the landscape, associated to the region’s topography, contribute to a low human presence. Consequently, flora has a high ecological maturity, with endemic threatened species with a high conservationist value, such as Salix salvifolia ssp. australis, four-leaf-clover (Marsilea batardae) and camphor-thyme (Thymus camphorates). Other common species in this kind of landscape include the oleander (Nerium oleander), the African tamarisk (Tamarix africana) and Securinega tinctoria.

The Guadiana River and some of its tributaries (Vascão, Oeiras and Terges/Cobres streams) are considered as of great value to nature conservation, functioning as an important corridor for many terrestrial and aquatic species. Guadiana Site is home to several species of endemic Iberian freshwater fishes, such as saramugo (Anaecypris hispanica), barbo-de-cabeça-pequena (Barbus microcephalus) and boga-do-Guadiana (Chondrostoma willkommii), some examples which happen to be endemic to the Guadiana River. These ecosystems also home a rich diversity of amphibians (13 species), reptiles (20 species) and mammals – at this Site we can find many species of bats with an important ecological value, like the Greater mouse-eared-bat (Myotis myotis) and the Lesser horseshoe-bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros); near the water streams it is common to observe otters (Lutra lutra) and, although not so frequent, there are some sightings of wildcats (Felis silvestris).

The Guadiana Site also belongs to the historical occurrence area of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) and to the corridor of priority areas for its conservation, as it still maintains areas with potential habitat that can be enhanced to restore the essential conditions for the presence of this species.