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About this book
About this book
Southern Portugal is a superb and rich wildlife destination. The Algarve province and its northern neighbour the Alentejo has a highly diverse landscape from the cliffs, dunes and tidal marshes on the coast to the extensive oak pastures, steppes and rocky hills in the interior. Whether you enjoy birdwatching, searching for orchids or simply a pleasant ramble through a flower-dotted landscape, southern Portugal is a great destination at any season.
This book contains 23 routes and 29 site descriptions of Portugal south of Lisbon.
Customer Reviews (1)
19 Jul 2019
Written for Paperback
Covering an area of 110 km by 180 km, Southern Portugal is a superb and rich wildlife destination. The Algarve province and its northern neighbour the Baixo-Alentejo have a highly diverse landscape from the cliffs, dunes and tidal marshes on the coast to the extensive oak pastures, steppes and rocky hills in the interior. There is less interest in the Lisbon/Setúbal area with its built-up city – home to over three million people, but it is not without wildlife sites. Whether you enjoy birdwatching, searching for orchids or simply a pleasant ramble through the steppes or cork and holm oak forests, southern Portugal is a great destination at any season, and with its honey-coloured sea cliffs it is often known as the “golden coast”.
This book follows the now-familiar layout of previous Crossbill Guides. Firstly, the landscape and local history are described, including the impacts on nature conservation. Each of the main ecosystems is explored and along with geological features that affect wildlife. The next section deals with the species that can be encountered – flora, mammals, birds, reptiles & amphibians and invertebrates. The final section contains outlines of 23 routes and 29 site descriptions of Portugal south of Lisbon. Particular attention is paid to birds, with eight Important Bird Areas within the region, mostly towards the south and a significant coastal passage of seabirds as well. Among the species that you can seek in the breeding season are Pin-tailed Sandgrouse Pterocles alchata, Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis, Great Bustard Otis tarda, Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax and Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni. There is also a special focus on orchids, of which 38 species are found, particularly in areas such as Cabo São Vincentina.
The routes described are really aimed at those with a car and range from a few hours to a full day, sometimes covering up to 80 km. If you tried to visit all of the places described here you would need to spend at least two weeks in the area. Small route maps are provided and these are annotated with stopping points, and many of the typical species are listed.
Finally, there are additional notes on how to find specific species groups such as orchids and there are more detailed notes on the status of a selection of birds, plus a series of checklists. These are always useful being listed alphabetically in English, German and Dutch, and with scientific names. However, these are not exhaustive and refer to species mentioned in the text rather than aiming to be completely comprehensive. For example, they list around 280 species of birds and about 210 species of plants and 110 invertebrates. No index is given, so it is not possible to find your way back to every species listed.
Throughout the book there are maps and numerous photographs and helpful notes to maximise enjoyment of the area. Once again Crossbill have managed to put the spotlight on an area that deserves more of our attention.
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