Project | Area of Intervention | Guadiana Valley | 
ZPE Vale do Guadiana
Guadiana Valley SPA
Natura network code: PTZPE0047

The Special Protection Area of Guadiana Valley has an area of 76,547 ha. Its landscape is characterized by the limestone outcrops of the S. Barão and Alcaria mountain ranges and the steep valleys of the hydrographic basin of the Guadiana River. His area is dominated by extensive cereal crops, scrublands, holm oak woodlands (montados of Quercus rotundifolia) and forested areas.
The steep valleys of Guadiana allow excellent conditions for the nesting of an important and diverse group of bird species that use rocky substrates for nesting, such as, for example, Bonneli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata), Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetus) and Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo). The importance of this SPA is also extended to steppe birds, housing Portugal’s only urban colony of Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni), at the town of Mértola, important breeding nuclei of Great Bustard (Otis tarda) and one of the most significant populations of Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis). Several migratory bird species also use the valley as a corridor and its riparian vegetation as refuge.

This is also an important area for Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus), whose historical record is very similar to the one of Mourão/Moura/Barrancos SPA. The sightings of some individuals of this species are frequent throughout the year, which is related with the quality of habitat and with the proximity to the Spanish colonies of Black Vulture, making the Guadiana Valley SPA a potential area for the future establishment of a colony in the region, contributing to the conservation of the species.