[ALGARVE BIRDWATCHING: PLEASE SELECT HOTSPOTS BELOW OR CHECK MARKERS ON THE MAP ABOVE] The Algarve is the Portuguese region with the greatest diversity of avian species: in total, about 390 bird species have been observed in Algarve and that amount increases a few notches every year. Such biodiversity within the European context is explained by several factors. The first is Algarve’s environmental diversity: the region has a huge amount of different habitats, including mountains, saltpans, farmland, shrubland, grassland, dunes, cork oak forests, tidal flats, karrenfelds and so on; also, within the Algarve there are two major protected parks – Ria Formosa and Costa Vicentina – as well as a wealth of protected landscapes and reserves, like the Castro Marim Nature Reserve. The second factor is Algarve’s privileged location, right at the confluence of three distinct bioregions: North African, Mediterranean and North Atlantic; consider also its proximity to Andalusia (where Doñana National Park is located) and to Alentejo – both places are prime habitat for many migrating and wandering species that may stop in Algarve along the way. And finally, the Algarve lacks a true industrial sector (it has a service-based economy devoted to tourism), and therefore it has very little, if any, industrial infrastructure or pollution. Add to that its main agricultural practices – mostly family-based, organic and traditional – and the Algarve ends up with a very favourable environment for many bird species and for their respective birders.
 


 


TAVIRA SALTPANS | EASTERN RIA FORMOSA BIRDING HOTSPOTS
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♦ CASTRO MARIM NATURE RESERVE BIRDING HOTSPOT