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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Visit the Natural Park of Ria Formosa - Olhão

The Ria Formosa Natural Park was established in 1987, covers about 20,000 acres of a lagoon system that extends for 60 km of coastline between the beach Garrão (to the west of the island of Faro) and Praia da Mantarrota (the source of Cacela-a-Velha). It is a maze of canals, islands, marshes and barrier islands, formed by deposition of sediments brought by rivers and sea. The estuary to the south is confined by a ridge narrow, interrupted here and there through the bars that allow the entry of tidal waters. A few miles from Olhão is located at Quinta de Marim, headquarters and interpretation of natural park, designed especially for visitors, and where to find a representative sample of the diversity of existing natural values in the main ecosystems of the Ria Formosa.
This is a transit point for migratory fauna between North Africa and Europe and local wintering birds from northern and central Europe. The Cayman chicken-or sultana, emblem of the natural park, is one of Europe's rarest species, living only in Spain and Portugal, the Ria Formosa estuary of the river and Quarteira.

In the area of the park can be seen Bird Species such as the Flamingo, the Eagle Wing Round, the Kingfisher, the trumpeter-Duck, the Common Teal, the curlew or the Grey Plover
Another inhabitant of the park, almost extinct in Europe, is the chameleon.
The botanical level, the area is also of great interest, especially the vegetation and dune areas sapal.A Ria is also a huge economic importance due to the variety of fish, shellfish and molluscs, especially to Olhao, a city also known as the capital of the Ria Formosa. Here is grown clams, leaving this area about 80% of total exports of the country. The bream, sea bass or shrimp are abundant in the Ria.

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