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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Visit the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina - Vila do Bispo

The Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina covers the southwestern coast of Portugal in the south of the Alentejo coast in the western Algarve and around Cape St. Vincent. Includes areas of parishes in Vila do Bispo (Budens, Raposeira, Sagres and Vila do Bispo).
In the park there are several types of landscapes and natural habitats and semi-natural habitats such as cliffs and steep cliffs and jagged, beaches, several islets and reefs that stands out the promontory of Sagres and Cape St. Vincent in the County Vila do Bispo.
The climate is Mediterranean, but with strong maritime influence. Temperatures remain mild throughout the year except during periods of wind lift when they can rise or fall sharply.
The wind regime is an important factor in the climate of the region.The prevailing winds are from the northern quadrant. Sometimes southwest winds occur mainly in winter, while the lift occur with low incidence throughout the year. On summer evenings are common maritime breezes intense and laden with moisture.
The average annual temperature is 17/18 º C in Vila do Bispo, being 20 to 23 degrees C in summer and 11 to 13 peaks in winter range from -4 º C and 40 ° C
The area of the promontory of Sagres has the lowest temperature range in mainland Portugal.
The flora of the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo Costa Vicentina and possesses a blend of Mediterranean vegetation, and Atlanco North Africa. There are about 750 species, of which 100 are endemic and 12 do not exist anywhere else in the world.
Among the endemic species there are, for example, plants such as: Biscutella Vincentian, Vincentian Scilla, Centaurea Vincentian, Diplotaxis Vincentian, Vincentian Hyacinthoides, Cistus palhinhae Plantago almogravensis. Other species are considered rare as Samouco (Myrica faya), the rowan (Sorbus domestica) or rotlunaleri Silene.
Tree species in the park area is divided into components classified as natural and artificial. The former are dominated by quercina, such as oak (Quercus suber) and cistus (Quercus faginea), especially in the ravines. The strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo L.) is also characteristic of this zone.
Tree species are classified as artificial mainly maritime pine (Pinus pinaster), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) and acacias.

The park is a staging area for soaring birds and migratory songbirds for transarianos in their movements between wintering areas in Africa and breeding in Europe. It is the last area creates the osprey in the Iberian Peninsula.
Among the birds are, among others, the following: osprey (Pandion haliaetus), cormorant (Phalocrocorax spp.), Blue rock, white stork (Ciconia ciconia), heron (Egretta garzetta) peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), kestrel-das-torres (Falco naumanni), crow-billed red (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Blackbird-the-rock or blue merle (Monticola solitarius), kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), kingfishers, a water hen (Gallinula chloropus), Raven (Corvus corax), blue rock (Columba livia), rock-pigeon (Columba palumbus L.), gulls (Laridae), crow-billed red (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), owls (Strigidae), owl, warbler, goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) pern-hunter (Circus pygargus), blue-pern (Circus cyaneus), curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus), Little Bustard (Tetrax), lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), snipe (Gallinago gallinago), eagle owl (Bubo bubo) Eagle-of-Bonelli (Hieraaetus fasciatus), Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus), hobby ( Falco subbuteo), small-owl (Asio otus), dove (Streptopelia turtur).

The mammals present in the park area include, among others: otter (Lutra lutra), weasel (Martes foina), Badger (Meles meles), fox (Vulpes vulpes), wild cat (Felis silvestris), (Herpestes ichneumon) wild boar (Sus scrofa), hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), genet (Genetta Genetta).
The weasels, foxes (also called dollies), badgers and the Egyptian mongoose (or escalavardos) are found in dune areas and cliffs.Badgers dig burrows in the cliffs. This area is unique in Portugal, and the last in Europe, where there are otters in the marine habitat.
The caves, like the grotto of Monte Cleric and Yellow, are important refuges for bat communities (Chiroptera).

Several species of amphibians breed in temporary ponds.
Among others are the toad (Bufo bufo), the toad-in-black-nail (Pelobates cultripes) and toad-in-warts-green (Pelodytes punctatus).

These wetlands are also crustaceans such as Triops cancriformis mauritanicus and other endemic Iberian.

Among the reptiles are, for example, the snake-ratter (Malpolon monspessulanus) and snake-smooth Bordeaux (Gironde Coronella).

And watercourses, swamps and marshes are freshwater fish that are endemic to Portugal as the barb-to-south (Barbus sclateri) and boga Portuguese (Chondrostoma lusitanicum) and also a local endemism, the climb-the-Mira (Leuciscus sp ..)

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