Ermo das Águias is a key area for landscape connectivity in the Greater Côa Valley. Here, Rewilding Portugal is implementing ecological restoration actions to make the Greater Côa Valley a place where natural processes and complete food chains play fundamental roles in the landscape.
Following the west bank of the Côa River, Ermo das Águias marks an important transition in the landscape of the river valley. Here, the gentle slopes that flanked the river from the source end, and the rugged cliffs and escarpments that lead to its mouth on the Douro River begin.
Bushes and bare rock dominate the landscape, partly due to soil conditions, but also due to the impact of fire and grazing in recent centuries. However, the process of rewilding is already evident in the groves of black oak, and in the small holm oaks and cork oaks that appear among their large secular relatives. Along the run-off lines, the wet meadows recover their floristic diversity, previously suppressed by the intensity of grazing, which was concentrated in these areas of greater productivity. The slopes are regularly flown by some of the most emblematic birds of the region, such as the golden eagle, the black stork and the griffon vulture, and the ruins of an ancient fojo, a stone structure used to hunt Iberian wolves, attests to the ancestral presence of this predator in these lands.
A herd of semi-wild Sorraia horses was also introduced with the aim of replicating the extinct ecological role of the wild horse.