A medium-sized mountain range with rolling hills covered with scrub and conifer plantations. There is a sharp difference in vegetation-types between the northern and southern slopes, with the former having a colder and more continental microclimate, while the latter is more Mediterranean in character.
An important area for breeding raptors, being one of only two breeding sites known for Aegypius monachus in Portugal in recent years.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
there is not a managament plan to nature conservation for natural reserve/ SIC.Habitat loss due to afforestation with non-native trees, namely Pseudotsuga and some Pinus species, is causing problems. Birds are disturbed by hunting.
National 15,523 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Serra da Malcata, 16,348 ha). 16,361 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Serra da Malcata, 16,361 ha).International: Special Protection Area Serra da Malcata,Biogenetic Reserve (Council of Europe)