Arouca Geopark Biodiversity Stations: exploring the territory's biodiversity

Typology: Contents exploration

Description: The biodiversity existing in the Arouca Geopark, particularly in the Sites of Community Interest (SIC) Natura 2000 SIC «Serra da Freita and Arada» and in the SIC «Rio Paiva», justified the implementation of two Biodiversity Stations (EBIO) in the territory. They are the EBIO of Merujal (located in Freita Mountain, along the pedestrian trail PR7), which inaugurated in 2014, and the Paiva Biospots (located along Paiva Walkways), was inaugurated in 2015.

The stations (or spots) are part of a national EBIO Network where, along a pedestrian path, we can find information panels with contents on fauna, flora and / or fungi, that can be observed along the trail. Therefore, these panels work as a "field guide" for visitors, who will find in images and descriptions of the emblematic species of the territory. EBIOs aim to increase knowledge about biodiversity, contribute to the enhancement of the natural heritage and, especially, promote citizen participation in the inventory of the biodiversity of a place.

All people are, therefore, invited to be actively involved in this citizen science project, so we challenge everyone to «RIPAR», that is, to Record observations through photography, Identify species and SHARE information with society through the website Alternatively, you can upload the images captured via your mobile phone, at any time, to the Global Network through the iNaturalist app (available for download on the App Store or Google Play), also being associated with the Portuguese platform Biodiversity4all.

These tools allow the identification of the species observed, through the help of scientists and naturalists. In these you can submit the observations made, anywhere in the world, so it is a suggestion to, in times of confinement, explore the biodiversity around you, connecting to nature. By recording and sharing the observations made, you will be creating valuable research data that could be useful for scientists to better understand and protect nature. The preservation of biodiversity, as well as the stability of ecosystems is an urgent and extremely important need for human beings! Among many other factors, species extinction represents an irreversible loss of unique genetic codes, often linked to the development of new medicine.

Suggestions for exploring the theme:

  • EBIOs of Arouca Geopark: information here. You can also consult the panels of each of our EBIOs in the attached pdf documents;
  • Portuguese platform Biodiversity4all: you can explore here;
  • International platform iNaturalist: you can explore here.