Project | Area of Intervention | Mourão, Moura and Barrancos | 
Mourão/Moura/Barrancos SPA
Mourão/Moura/Barrancos SPA
Natura network code: PTZPE0045

The Special Protection Area of Mourão/Moura/Barrancos, with an area of 84,916 ha, was classified as a strictly protected site due to the presence of an important group of steppe birds and birds of prey with high threatened conservation status (national and international) that depend on Iberian steppe like agro-systems.
Here it is possible to observe some of the most beautiful and threatened species of our avifauna, such as Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus), Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Iberian Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti), Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata), Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni), Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax), Great Bustard (Otis tarda), Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo), European Roller (Coracias garrulus), Eurasian Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria), Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus), Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra), Black Winged-kite (Elanus caeruleus), Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis) and Common Crane (Grus grus), that finds here one of its most important wintering areas in Portugal.

The Black Vulture has a regular presence along a narrow strip in the border with Spain, from Alentejo region until Beira Baixa, for an extension of about 30-40 Km into the interior of Portugal. Between 1930 and 1950, the last colonies of this species disappeared from most part of inner Alentejo. However, recent observations indict an increase in the number of breeding pairs in Portugal. In fact, in 2010, for the first time since 1973 and after several nesting attempts observed since 2003, 4 pairs of Black Vulture nested again in Portugal, in the region of International Tagus. In Mourão/Moura/Barrancos SPA, which is geographically very close to the Spanish colonies of the National Park of Sierra Pelada y Riviera del Aserrador, near the border, occur regular visits of Black Vultures searching for food or in dispersion. However, and although there were some nesting attempts in the 90’s as a result of the construction of artificial nests, until now there was no breeding success. It is expected that the current increase of the Andalusian population of Black Vulture and the proximity to the SPA can contribute to the colonization of this region, making the Mourão/Moura/Barrancos SPA one of the potential areas for Black Vulture recovery in Portugal.