Located in the Coa Valley, along the border of Guarda District, Faia Brava covers about 1000ha of land. In this sector, the steep slopes of the river are formed by granite outcroppings and cliffs. It is in these places that we find important communities of cliff-breeding birds.
Faia Brava Reserve is part of the Special Protection Area and the Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley (classified by UNESCO). It is a Birdlife International Important Bird Area and has been part of the national network of protected areas since 2010, at which point it became known as the Private Protected Area of Faia Brava. It is also a pilot area of the European project Rewilding Europe – which promotes the management of abandoned areas, in order to convert them into natural spaces, and the development of nature tourism.
Faia Brava’s Wildlife
The Coa Valley fauna is quite diverse, and this is the key factor for the value of this natural reserve. The most emblematic animals are the cliff-breeding birds, of which stand out: Black Stork, Egyptian Vulture, Griffon vulture, Golden Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Eagle Owl, Alpine Swift and, recently, White-rumped Swift. Other interesting birds are the Short-toed Snake Eagle, the Booted Eagle, the European Bee-eater, the Blue Rock Thrush, the Orphean Warbler, the Sardinian Warbler, the Subalpine Warbler, the Woodchat Shrike, the Iberian Magpie, the Spotless Starling, the Spanish Sparrow.
At the Reserve we can still found an interesting representation of reptiles, with Spiny-footed Lizard, Ocellated Lizard, Large Psammodromus, Moorish Gecko, Spanish Terrapin, Ladder Snake, and amphibians such as Bosca’s Newt, Marbled Newt and Iberian Water Frog. There are also a great diversity of insects but, the emphasis is on butterflies like the Moroccan Orange Tip, the Cleopatra, the Spanish Marbled White, the Southern Gatekeeper.
Among the plants, the focus goes for the Spring flowers, which we emphasize some species of orchids like the Serapias lingua, Serapias cordigera and the Orchis coriophora.
The rock engravings and cave paintings of Faia (UNESCO), traditional dovecotes, the Maronesa herd of cows and the Garrano horses in semi-wild state.