Serra da Malcata Nature Reserve


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Serra da Malcata, photo by João Cosme

Location: Municipalities of Sabugal and Penamacor, Guarda District

Size: 16 348 ha

Manager: Instituto da Conservação na Natureza e Florestas (ICNF) Governmental Institute for Nature Conservation and Forest

Serra da Malcata Nature Reserve is located between the municipalities of Penamacor and Sabugal and it is a protected area with more than 16 000 ha, connected with Sierra de Gata, Spain. The landscape is dominated by schist slopes and influenced by a network of small tributaries of Côa, shaded by dense riparian woods of alder (Alnus glutinosa), ash (Fraxinus angustifolia) and willow (Salix sp.). The north area is covered by an extended forest of Pyrenean oak (Quercus pyrenaica) but the south area is much eroded, as it has been exploited for industry, with large plantations of resinous trees, over the last decades.

Large areas of Mediterrean scrubs host a wide fauna, where until few decades ago the Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus) could be seen, one of the most endangered mammals of Europe. For years, conservation actions focused on this species have been developed in order to improve its habitat and to increase the number of wild rabbit, its favorite prey. * Besides, there is a large list of reptiles and amphibians, small birds and raptors like the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), black vulture (Aegypius monachus) and black stork (Ciconia nigra).

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Fauna of Malcata, photos by João Cosme

barragem jcosmeThe Grand Route crosses the north area of Malcata, where you can visit its higher point (1078 meters) – Alto da Machoca – and enjoy of an incredible landscape over the Côa dam.

Other small routes are signed at the Nature Reserve and in some points the small route matches the Grand Route trail.

More information at ICNF website.

* Information from the website, managed by ICNF.
View over the Côa dam, photo by João Cosme

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