The present study aims to characterize, at a preliminary biological base, a particular site in Torre de Moncorvo Municipality, which has importance as a potential concession area for industry. For this purpose, a literature review was carried out over flora and fauna species, as well as important habitats present in the area and its surroundings, especially most sensitive or protected species and habitats that could affect industrial activities in the future.
The methodology for this report of the biological baseline study was composed by two complementary components fauna and flora. Fieldwork for fauna surveys were carried out considering three activity areas, inside main concession area, at Cabeço da Mua, and Serra do Reboredo. For terrestrial ecosystems we adopted some usual methods for different kinds of fauna and sampled places were tracked by GPS. In the concession area, 15 grid squares were visited. For bird surveys was adapted the same methodology as used for Atlas inventories. Particular habitats, like water masses, cliffs, or other rocky areas were visited individually. For mammal species, only simple surveys were implemented. Amphibian species were prospected in water bodies and wet lands with a handnet. Reptiles were searched systematically walking on rural roads/pathways and under rocks and catched when possible. Aquatic ecosystems were surveyed following the protocols defined Portuguese authorities (Instituto da Água) taking into account the Water Framework Directive. Aquatic organisms like algae, invertebrate and fish communities will be sampled in different water courses in the concession area and in surrounding areas (buffer zone). All sampling sites were identified using GPS
For flora fieldwork, the proposed study area was divided in 1 km x 1 km squares following the European Environment Agency (EEA) proposal. Important species were photographed, herborized and deposited in the ESAB herbarium. The flora data collected in the field was then digitized using Microsoft Access 2002. A final matrix was produced and used to produce distribution maps for each found taxa, based on the 1 km EEA grid. The surveying of the present flora allowed also the recognition of the present vegetation patches. Reporting to the Portuguese Natura 2000 information sheets, where indicator species and other diagnostic characteristics are described, we offer a first approach to the Natura 2000 natural habitats occurring in the study area, which are relevant to nature conservation.
Key words: Ecological studies, fauna surveys, flora, baseline studies