The properties owned by Altri Florestal include areas of production (chiefly eucalyptus), of conservation and of protection, used in various different ways. The conservation areas bring together a series of natural assets, where biodiversity plays a major role and is pivotal in the classification of such areas.
In light of this, Altri Florestal has partnered up with bodies from the scientific community (the Faculty of Science at the University of Lisbon and the Higher Institute of Agronomy) to establish a network of permanent stations to monitor and assess biodiversity in order to ascertain the wealth of species thriving in Portugal’s forests.
Biodiversity Stations (EBIO) are short walking trails (the longest are 3 km), signposted throughout with nine panels containing information about the biological phenomena which can be seen by visitors. The panels function as a kind of field guide and make reference to iconic species which can be easily spotted. Special emphasis is given to the insects and plants which form the basis for the conservation of terrestrial ecosystems, particularly those in our forests.
The main aim of the EBIOs is to encourage participation in drawing up an inventory and monitoring biodiversity. Visitors are asked to record the species they photograph or merely observe during their visits, so that they can then be shared with the whole community via people’s science platforms, such as the Biodiversity4All platform. This platform can also now be accessed on any smartphone via the INaturalist app. You can register whenever you visit any EBIO and contribute towards our better understanding of biodiversity.
Quinta do Furadouro Biodiversity Station
8th May saw the grand opening of the EBIO at Quinta do Furadouro, where as well as cultural values (Quinta do Furadouro was built in the 11th Century) and economic values (it has an orchard where eucalyptus seeds are produced), emphasis is also given to the role played by natural areas and to their importance in the conservation of species.
The opening was attended by the younger pupils at Furadouro Primary School in the area of Óbidos, who will be our future “helpers” in researching species and how many of them there are in our forests. Who knows, we may even whet their appetite for working with nature?
On 26th May, the families of Altri Florestal’s employees also enjoyed a guided tour of the walking trail and were able to join in with the challenge of recording and sharing more species, thereby contributing towards improving our knowledge of the natural assets which flourish at Quinta do Furadouro.