Project | Area of Intervention | Mourão, Moura and Barrancos | 
Moura/Barrancos pSCI
Moura/Barrancos pSCI
Natura network code: PTCON0053

The Site of Community Importance of Moura/Barrancos, with 43,309 ha, is known for its holm and cork oak woodlands (montados of Quercus rotundifolia and Q. suber, respectively). However, we can also find here areas of forest, Mediterranean woodlands, scrublands and riparian galleries well preserved, as well as more intervened areas with agroforestry purposes, which, along with the presence of streams of torrential regime and their lush riparian vegetation and limestone outcrops, enable a great diversity of habitats and landscapes. The soils, dominated by schist, greywacke and limestone, are substract to plants such as broteroi peony (Paeonia broteroi) and many speies of herbaceous with an important conservationist value, like some orchids (e.g. Orchis collina).
The Moura/Barrancos Site is equally important for its fauna, with rare and diverse niches. Here we find Portugal’s 2nd most important shelter of cave bats and one of the largest in Europe, with more than 7,000-8,000 individuals of 11 different species (e.g. Mehely's horseshoe bat Rhinolophus mehelyi, greater mouse-eared bat Myotis myotis, Schreiber's bat Miniopterus schreibersii). As for ichthyofauna, this protected area is one of the most notable ones concerning the conservation of endemic species such as saramugo (Anaecypris hispanica), boga-de-boca-arqueada (Chondrostoma lemmingii), Iberian barbell (Barbus comiza), among others. Furthermore, the Mediterranean woodlands are essential habitats for mammalian carnivores such as the wildcat (Felis silvestris) and the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus).

The Moura/Barrancos Site is one of the recent historical occurrence areas of the Iberian lynx, where nowadays we can still find patches of adequate habitat for its presence. Because it is geographically close to the Spanish breeding populations, namely the one of the Natural Park of Sierra de Andújar, the probability of a natural colonization of the Site by dispersant individuals from those areas searching for new territories is high. In fact, in 2010 the Moura/Barrancos Site was ‘visited’ by a male Iberian lynx from Doñana. Together, these characteristics make this Site one of the most important areas for the conservation of the Iberian lynx in a mid / long term, as part of an important corridor of key areas to the conservation of this specie.