|Typical Mediterranean landscape, the Estremenho Limestone Chain, between the regions of the Costa de Prata, Montanhas and Planicies, is the home of the Natural Park of Serras d´Aire and Candeeiros, one of the most important nesting places of the red billed jackdaw.
Text provided by the Portuguese Tourist Office (with minimal corrections)
The Natural Park of Serras d´Aire and Candeeiros occupies about two thirds of the Estremenho Limestone Chain, forming a sea of carbonated hills, characterized by a typically Mediterranean landscape. It is extraordinarily dry and rocky and constitutes the most extensive and diversified limestone peak in Portugal.
The limestone geomorphology, generally monotonous and on a large scale, is extremely varied in detail here and makes it possible to clearly differentiate between the Estremenho Limestone Chain and the neighbouring regions. It can be said that the mountain range is made up of three distinct zones: the Serra d´Aire, the Santo Antonio Plateau in the centre and the Candeeiros Mountain to the west. Overall, the vegetation is scarce, except in some lower areas, where greenery can be found in the middle of a rocky desert.
The olive trees and shrubs are the dominant flora in these fields of stone. Here there is also a variety of fauna, and, among the birds of prey and other animals the most important is the red billed jackdaw. One of its main nesting areas in Portugal is located here, although its numbers have dropped severely over the past few years. It builds its nests mainly in gullies where the birds can benefit from a micro-climate that is favourable to their incubation and where they are protected from all types of intruders, except man.