by Vita Nativa

Vita Nativa is a Portuguese non-profit organization for the Conservation of the Environment that aims to promote the study and conservation of nature, promote and enhance the natural heritage and contribute to an active participation in the defence of the environment and ecosystem services.

Founded in 2018, Vita Nativa is an association that had as its starting point the heart of the Ria Formosa, more precisely Olhão,

where it was formed by a group of professionals who work in the area of nature and environment conservation and who came together for the need to provide an active and coordinated response to the various environmental problems identified.

Vita Nativa has a multidisciplinary team, dynamic and committed to bring a new vision and practical approach to different environmental issues

Project Description

Bio-Ilhas is a project that aims to recover degraded environments of salt pans and salt marshes in the Eastern Algarve, more precisely between Olhão and Faro, and to promote the conservation of biodiversity through the implementation of artificial islands in saline tanks and WWTP lagoons.

At the same time, actions to requalify the marsh vegetation will be carried out in areas where it is extremely degraded or damaged. Weekly monitoring of birds using the study area will be carried out, as well as scientific ringing campaigns, in order to assess the use of the islands by the target species. Finally, pedagogical actions aimed at local communities and schools will also be promoted, as well as those involved in socio-economic activities in the areas to be intervened.

The project intends to implement a series of artificial islands that are attractive for bird species to nest. With the installation of these islands, and the requalification of degraded salt marshes, it will help to establish populations of breeding birds, some with populations in decline in Europe, such as the Little tern (Sternula albifrons), Collared pratincole (Glareola pratincola), Pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) and the Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), among others. It will also contribute to the establishment of winter roosts for a number of bird species, including waders.

This project also has a partnership with ICNF – Regional Directorate for Nature Conservation and Forests of the Algarve, Águas do Algarve, Necton – Portuguese Marine Culture Company and Salinas do Grelha – Segredos da Ria.

Key Ecosystems

Ria Formosa (lagoon systems in the southern strip of Portugal).

Key Species

Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna), Common Tern (Sterna hirundo), Little Tern (Sternula albifrons) e Redshank (Tringa totanus).

Project Managers
Thijs Valkenburg and Alexandre Leitão

Responsible Associate
Octávio Mateus

Place of action
Faro and Olhão

Implementation period
25 months
(June 2021 to June 2023)

€ 90.000

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