Gerês mountains

Country/territory: Portugal

IBA Criteria met: B2, C6 (2002)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 62,922 ha

Protection status:

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.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gerês mountains. Downloaded from on 30/10/2020.