Points of Interest

SCIs – Sites of Community Importance

Municipalities:Abadín, Baleira, Begonte, Castro de Rei, Cospeito, Friol, Guitiriz, Lugo, Outeiro de Rei, Rábade, Vilalba y Xermade
Web page:www.cmati.xunta.es
Area:5.013,01 ha.
Location:In the northwest quadrant of the province of Lugo, belonging to the regions of Terra Chá and Lugo.
Description:It occupies the upper basin of the river Miño, which includes a number of nearby wetlands and is known as “wet complex of Terra Chá”. The natural area includes most of the main tributaries of the Miño on its right bank: the Ladra, which is joined by the Parga, the Labrada, the Trimaz and the Madanela, as well as the Támoga, the Narla and other small tributaries of these. The area is mainly agricultural and farming. Much of the SCI is set in the central depression of Terra Chá, a large flat or slightly undulating area that lies roughly between 380 and 450 m. In this sector the lakes of Cospeito and a number of minor small lakes are found.
Place:SERRA DO CAREÓN (Range of Careón)
Municipalities:Lugo, Friol y Palas de Rei
Web page:www.cmati.xunta.es
Area:6.567,87 ha.
Location:It occupies small marginal areas of the counties of Ulloa and Lugo, most of the territory of the SCI being in the province of A Coruña.
Description:The Range of Careón, which belongs to the Galician Massif, is a small mountain range with a terraced profile, tableland, and gentle relieves, with a maximum altitude of almost 800 m (O Careón, 798 m; Pena Armada, 760 m) and is covered by extensive areas of thicket. The Furelos River, a tributary of Ulla, together with numerous small tributaries of its headwaters, born both in the mountains of Bocelo and in Careón, has a low sinuosity and a considerable flow. From this river, a wide plain stretches, especially to the southeast of Melide.
Flora:The toxic effect produced in the soil by the high concentration of heavy metals from ultrabasic rocks determined that the area is one of the most important centres of endemicity in the Peninsula. Thus, the SCI has some plants, which apart from being endemic straits in this area, are clearly threatened at a state level, such as Armeria merinoi, Santolina melidensis and Leucanthemum gallaecicum, the first two critically endangered. A number of taxa have their unique or almost unique Galician known populations in the area, such as Aster aragonensis, Erica scoparia, Narcissus conspicuus or Seseli montanum subsp. montanum. Scrublands occupy two thirds of the area of the SCI, dominating both in the peaks and slopes of Careón as in the plains and hillocks of the southern part of the countryside. Timberline, secularly farmed is replaced in part by forest plantations, covering a small area. However, you may find some significant spots of fraga (deciduous mountain forest, normally difficult to access) or Galician-Portuguese climax forest. The river banks on the other side, are flanked largely by the riparian forest gallery.
Fauna:Among the invertebrates of Annex II of the Habitats Directive we have the snail (Elona quimperiana), the Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) and the stag beetle (Lucanus cervus). In addition to the common trout, three endemic freshwater fishes of interest, the Northern straight-mouth nase (Douro Chondrostoma), the bermejuela (Chondrostoma arcasii), and the eel, inhabit the waters of the subbasin of Furelos. Thirteen species of amphibians and 9 reptile make up the herpetofauna of SCI. Among the northwestern Iberian endemism of the area, it is important to mention the Gold-striped salamander, and Iberian emerald lizard, listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive. With them we find the Bosca's newt, the Iberian frog, and the European common frog, also endemic of the Iberian peninsula, and some Euro-Siberian elements such as the palmate newt. Among the avifauna it must be highlighted the existence of a nesting population of Montagu's harrier, and the presence in summer and fall of the little bustard, as well as the uncommon Tawny Pipit. The short-toed snake eagle, the goshawk, the sparrowhawk, the kestrel, the Eurasian hobby, the peregrine falcon, are other birds of prey observed in the area. The kingfisher, the white-throated dipper and the grey wagtail, live in the river beds. In addition to the hen harrier and other raptors, areas of scrub are home to a distinctive community in which there is an interesting mix of Mediterranean and Euro-Siberian elements. Featured members of the mammal fauna are the Iberian desman, and the otter. Also in this area, we have the stoat, the European polecat, the Beech marten, the Iberian hare, the roe deer, and the wild boar. The wolf has a regular presence in the area.
Place:SERRA DO XISTRAL (Range of Xistral)
Municipalities:Lugo, Abadín, Alfoz, Cervo, Mondoñedo, Muras, O Valadouro, Ourol, Vilalba, Xermade, Xove y Viveiro.
Web page:www.cmati.xunta.es
Area:22.480,98 ha.
Location:Mountainous area in the north and northwest of the province of Lugo, penetrating slightly to the west of the province of A Coruña. It belongs to the regions of the Central Mariña, Western Mariña, Terra Chá and Eume.
Description:Extensive mountainous area, where the ranges of Xistral, A Toxiza and A Carba are integrated, serving as a natural separation between the regions of A Mariña and Terra Chá. Sparsely populated area with numerous cattle grazing in semi-liberty and intensive use of wind energy. The importance of natural space in geomorphological and botanical areas, especially, is outstanding. Tectonic movements, fluvial erosion and processes derived from the cold, mainly periglacial, gave rise to the peculiar and contrasting landscape of these mountain ranges.
Flora:More than 40 % of the area of the habitats of community importance of the SCI is occupied by plant communities related to peatlands or peaty soils, which have here their best expression in the Iberian peninsula, still much higher than that in other Atlantic territories of Western Europe. The blanket bogs, in particular, are the only habitat of community importance in the Spanish territory exclusive to Galician territory. Together, these broad areas of peat and peaty soils harbour vegetation of extraordinary botanical interest. Among the many rare, endemic or of conservation importance species, there are different Splachnum bryophytes and Pinguicula lusitanica and Carex duriaei, Arnica montana subsp. atlantica, Cirsium filipendulum, Drosera lusitanica, Drosera intermediate, Drosera rotundifolia, Myrica gale, Narcissus cyclamineus, Narcissus pseudonarcissus subps. Nobilis and Serratula tinctoria subsp. Seoanei.
Fauna:Among the invertebrates of Annex II of the Habitats Directive is the snail (Elona quimperiana), the kerry slug (Geomalacus maculosus), the Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia), and the stag bettle. The lepidopterologic fauna has a great relevance; among it exclusive high end taxa appear in this range, as in the case of Erebia epiphron subsp. Xistralensis and Erebia triarius subsp. Pargapondalense. Thirteen species of amphibians and at least ten reptile form the herpetofauna of the SCI, basically composed of northwestern Iberian endemic and Euro-Siberian species. In addition to a number of species listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive such as the gold-striped salamander, the Iberian emerald lizard, the Iberian rock lizard and the viviparous lizard, one of the jewels of the fauna of Xistral. Among the nesting is the European honey buzzard, the short-toed snake eagle, the northern harrier, the hen harrier, the Montagu's harrier, goshawk, the Eurasian hobby, and the peregrine falcon, while the merlin, and common whitethroat, appear in winter, with the griffon vulture increasing its presence outside the nesting season. Some rare forest passerines reproducing in Galicia, as the goldcrest, the citril finch, and the Eurasian siskin, have in the SCI some of their few breeding localities. The avifauna of bushy areas, thickets and their ecotonal forest areas, is well represented, with a mixture of Mediterranean and Euro-Siberian elements. The mammals listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive and with presence in the area are the Iberian desman, and the otter. Among the carnivores, it should be pointed out the presence of the wild cat, the Beech marten, the stoat, and the European polecat. The wolf maintains in these mountains one of its most nourished populations in Galicia. Among herbivores we find the wild boar, the roe deer and the Iberian hare.
Municipalities:Barreiros y Foz.
Web page:www.cmati.xunta.es
Area:575,17 ha.
Location:In the northwest quadrant of the province of Lugo, between the regions of Central and Eastern Mariña.
Description:Middle and lower course of the river Masma, including small sections of its tributaries: the Fraga Vella, the Valiñadares and Batán and its estuary, the Ría de Foz. The estuary mouth is partially closed by a sandy coastline fringe and port facilities and coastal defence. The sandy deposits extend to the intertidal estuarine in the outer third of the wetland, while the inner side is dominated by silty or sandy-silty plains, partly covered by marine meadows and marshes.
Flora:Important enclave of coastal marsh vegetation in the Ria de Foz. The sheltered areas in the middle and inner sections of the estuary are partially colonized by extensive meadowland of high density dwarf eelgrass (Zostera noltii), while the higher parts of the inner sector have clumps of osiers, halophilic beds of rushes characterized by Juncus maritimus and Spartina maritima meadows. At the points with the most freshwater influence and in the lower reaches of Masma, even under the range of tides, brackish rush spots are found, where Juncus gerardi makes its appearance, and masses of helophytes such as Scirpus maritimus and as Phragmites australis. At the mouth of the estuary, the beach of Altar still retains a patch of vegetation of shifting dunes, with Ammophila arenaria and Eryngium maritimum as most characteristic species, also Linaria polygalifolia appears, typical of the northwestern quarter dunes of the Peninsula. The scurvy-grass (Cochlearia aestuaria), endemic of the shores of the Bay of Biscay, and the rare sea-lavender (Limonium dodartii), which is critically endangered in Spain, are also cited in halophilic environments of this natural area. Upstream from the estuary, the banks of Masma are flanked mostly by Asturian Galician riparian forest, where alders, accompanied by willows and dogwoods predominate, among other tree species.
Fauna:Among invertebrate species listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive are cited the snail (Elona quimperiana) and stag beetle (Lucanus cervus). Like other Cantabrian rivers, the Masma presents a considerable interest for its fish fauna. In its basin 5 taxa of native freshwater fish are found, several of them endangered, most notably the salmon. The lamprey, the brown trout, and the eel are also present. Regarding the herpetofauna, we find, among other species, the gold-striped salamander, the fire salamander, the Iberian rock lizard and the Iberian emerald lizard. The estuary has an outstanding bird richness, and more than 200 species are listed. Their aequornithes populations deserve special attention, especially during the winter and autumn migratory seasons. The area is a zone of regular stop for a significant fraction of the population of Eurasian spoonbill, which gives it international importance. In addition to moderate amounts of anatidae, mostly mallards, Eurasian teals, wigeons, and the scarce number of brants, rare in Spain and that are relatively common to see in this inlet, the estuary is home to interesting wintering numbers of shorebirds, such as curlews, and whimbrels, which, together with the very little red knot, reach significance at a state level. However, during the migratory stages a much larger and more varied contingent of these species stops here, including gatherings of the rare red knot mentioned above. Egret breeding was also noted in the area. Moreover, it is common to have many species of passerines during migratory seasons, some of them rare in Galicia. Among mammals, it must be mentioned the presence of the desman, the stoat, and otter (Lutra lutra), which regularly visits the inlet.