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Stuffed Pig Bísaro

Douro International

Characterization of the International Douro Natural Park

De violent waters river, the Douro due to dams, there was a vast, tranquil body of water trapped between plumb walls, and striking the contrast between the narrow gorge through which flows and the adjacent corrugated surfaces.

The Park covers the border stretch of the Douro river, including its valley and adjacent plateau surfaces, and extends south through the valley of its tributary, the river Agueda, a distance of about 120 km.

The northern part corresponds to the lower Atlantic influence area of ​​Tras-os Montes, being made up of an extensive plateau, with altitudes ranging between 700 and 800 meters. Here, the Douro Valley is quite embedded with essentially granitic steep banks, the "cliffs". As one moves south, the valley has become more open, with flattened valley bottoms, remaining the steep slopes; there are still small plateau areas and residual relief topped by quartzites. The area where the valley already resembles the "Douro wine region" is characterized by its microclimate, with little precipitation and mild winter temperatures as part of the call Hot Earth Transmontana.

The region includes the area of ​​oak - Pyrenean oak forests Quercus pyrenaica and oak-cerquinho Quercus faginea in areas of higher altitude and holm oak Quercus rotundifolia and cork oak Quercus suber , the driest land. There junipers and lodoais in tight valleys and rocky spurs of the Douro and its tributaries, alder groves, willows and ash trees along the water lines and large expanses of broom Cytisus striatus and rockrose Cistus ladanifer .

The agricultural activity is extremely important in shaping the landscape. The cereal culture creates extensive steppe biotopes important for the birds and the mosaic of habitats created by meadows, vineyards, olive groves, etc., give this area a high biodiversity.

This fauna in this natural park distinguishes If the number of species and their protected status. In birds, the kite-real Milvus milvus and chasco-black Oenanthe leucura are Critically Endangered; the Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus , the Montagu's harrier Circus pygargus , a golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos , a eagle Out-of-bonelli Hieraaetus fasciatus and red-billed chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax are Endangered; the Black Stork Ciconia nigra and peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus , among others, are vulnerable. All these birds have their preferred habitat on cliffs, with the exception of the real kite and Montagu's harrier occupying the plateau. The reservoir of the dam of Santa Maria de Aguiar, in the southern part of the park is the most important wetland area around the northern and central interior to waterfowl, especially the populationof great crested grebe Podiceps cristatus .

Miniopterus schreibersii Morcego-de-peluche - AR Myotis blythii Morcego-rato-pequeno - AR
Bat-of-Teddy Miniopterus schreibersii and bat-mouse-small Myothis blythii (® Ana Raínho).

As for mammals, the bat of horseshoe-Mediterranean Rhinolophus euryale and bat-mouse-small Myothis blythii are Critically Endangered; the wolf Canis lupus is Endangered; the common bent-wing bat Miniopterus schreibersii , the Cabrera's Vole Microtus cabrerae , the wildcat Felis silvestris , among others, are Vulnerable. In the park and surrounding area are some breeding shelters and / or hibernation cave bats with national importance.

In the group of reptiles, the European pond turtle Emys orbicularis is Endangered and the viper-horned Vipera latastei is vulnerable.

The houses are concentrated, surrounded by cultivated fields. The forest is scarce and uneducated range follows the rugged river and its tributaries. In the plateau areas dominated by cereal crops; the marshes occupy the lower valleys and wetlands. The cliffs, dominated by Mediterranean cultures - the vineyard, olive grove, almond, the orange grove. They create indigenous breeds of sheep, Churra Churra Galega Mirandesa and the Hot Earth, and cattle, Mirandesa cow. The pigeon, housed in traditional lofts, is part of the farmer's diet and enriches the earth

Source:. ICNF

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