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Location Portugal, Centro
Central coordinates 7o 33.00' West  40o 25.00' North
IBA criteria C6
Area 99,870 ha
Altitude 300 - 1,993m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves

Site description The rough massif of Serra da Estrela is a high plateau NE-sloped and deeply crossed by the valleys of the rivers that born there. Mainly granitic with extensive areas of schist, the plateau presents rocky out-crops that define the landscape. Due to its great altitude, this is one of places with higher precipitations in Portugal. This also conditions a very marked vegetal zonation: a basal floor, up to 900 meters, with mediterranean influence, intensively cultivated; an intermediate floor, from 900 to 1600 meters, climatic domain of black oak (residual), with patches of coppices, genistas, heathers, brooms and rockroses, and artificial plantations of pines, pseudotsugas, cedars and firs; some rye-fields are also found; finally, the top floor, domain of heather and juniper groves, with some endemic rupicolous communities and orophytos nationaly only represented in Serra da Estrela. We can also find lacustrine communities of puddles and lagoons in higher zones.

Key Biodiversity This site has a important populations of some altitude species like Anthus campestris,Emberiza hortulana.The avifauna above 1000 m has a diversity of 100 species during the annual cycle.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Stork Ciconia nigra breeding  2001  2-3 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus breeding  2002  frequent  C6  Least Concern 
Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris resident  2002  frequent  C6  Least Concern 
Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana resident  2002  common  C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2005 low not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Transportation and service corridors utility & service lines happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) very rapid to severe deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Planalto Central da Serra da Estrela Biogenetic Reserves 5,645 unknown 0  
Serra da Estrela Nature Park 89,136 protected area contains site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Broadleaved evergreen woodland; Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland; Treeline ecotone  -
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis; Scrub  -
Grassland Alpine, subalpine and boreal grassland  -
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  -
Introduced vegetation   -
Rocky areas Inland cliffs  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
forestry -
hunting -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -
water management -

Protection status National:Nature Park Serra da Estrela,101060 ha, contains IBA.SIC proposal Serra da Estrela,88291 ha included in the IBAInternational:SIC candidature,Biogenetic Reserve (Council of Europe)

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Estrela Mountains. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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