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Location Portugal, Norte
Central coordinates 8o 8.00' West  41o 52.00' North
IBA criteria B2, C6
Area 62,922 ha
Altitude 500 - 1,545m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves

Site description This site includes the National Park of Peneda-Gerês, the oldest protection area in Portugal (since 1971) and the only National Park. From Castro Laboreiro plateau to Mourela, it embraces the granitic mountains of Peneda, Soajo, Amarela and Gerês. A great habitat diversity is present due to the different exposure to atlantic climatic influence of each of these mountains. The atlantic, mediterranean and continental influences and the diversify land orientation, favour the existence of several microclimates.One of the only sites in Portugal where nearly unalterated ecosystems are found, with low human influence, integrated in humanizated landscape. The forest are mainly formed by oaks. Arbutus-trees, hollies, portuguese laurel-cherries, pine-trees and white birches are also found. Shrublands of turzes, heathers and genistas are characteristic of higher lands. There are also some endemisms like the lily, the fern and the yarrow of Gerês.

Key Biodiversity The area supports important numbers of breeding raptors, and is the main Portuguese stronghold for Lanius collurio and Emberiza hortulana. Several birds are at their south-western limit in Europe, including L. collurio and Saxicola rubetra. The avifauna is rich, with more than 120 breeding species.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Falco peregrinus breeding  1997  13-15 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 
Circus cyaneus breeding  1996  3-4 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus breeding  1996  20-25 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Short-toed Snake-eagle Circaetus gallicus breeding  1996  10-12 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
European Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus breeding  1996  6-8 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Eagle-owl Bubo bubo breeding  1996  10 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Least Concern 
Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio breeding  1996  600-800 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax resident  1996  25-30 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Least Concern 
Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana breeding  1996  frequent  C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Peneda-Gerês National Park 69,592 protected area contained by site 21,100  
Peneda-Gerês National Park - Buffer Zone 49,190 protected area overlaps with site 31,394  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest; Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Broadleaved evergreen woodland; Mixed woodland; Treeline ecotone  -
Shrubland Heathland; Scrub  -
Grassland Alpine, subalpine and boreal grassland; Humid grasslands  -
Wetlands (inland) Raised bogs; Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater  -
Rocky areas Inland cliffs; Scree & boulders  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Forestry plantations  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
fisheries/aquaculture -
agriculture -

Protection status National:National park Peneda Gerês,52883 included in IBASpecial Protection Area Serra do Gerês,62922ha overlaps with IBA.SIC proposal Serras da Peneda Gerês,88845ha, and includes 57829 ha of IBA)International: Special Protection Area Serra do GerêsSICs proposal Serras da Peneda Gerês

References Pimenta & Santarém(1996), Monteiro(1997), Álvares(2001), Dantas de Gama(2001)

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

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