Biodiversity in the Serra da Gardunha
Preservation of certain ‘species of Community interest’ (i.e. endangered, vulnerable, rare or endemic to the European Community) requires that some parts of the Gardunha be designated special areas of conservation. Species falling into this category include Euphydryas aurinia, Rutilus alburnoides, Chioglossa lusitanica, Lacerta schreiberi and Lutra lutra.
But these mountains are also home to numerous other animal species. Wild rabbits, hares, badgers, genetas, moles, mongooses, European foxes, hedgehogs, red squirrels, weasels are all commonly seen. Roe deer can also be seen although this species has only been introduced in the mountain in recent years.
Gardunha is also home to a wide number of bird species (80), many of which are birds of prey.
Unfortunately, many of the beautiful hills and vales of the Gardunha, once clad with centenary chestnut, oak, cork oak, pine and strawberry-tree, have been seriously affected by years of indifference and neglect, making them increasingly vulnerable to the ever present threat of forest fires. The catastrophic fires of 2003and 2005 effectively wiped out much of the biodiversity of the region, along with its venerable old trees.
This section will include a complete overview of biodiveristy on the Serra de Gardunha. The content is being complied and will be available in February 2009.