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Tagus Estuary Birdwatching and Conservation Area (EVOA)

Tagus Estuary Birdwatching and Conservation Area

Name of organisation: Companhia das Lezírias, S.A.

Funding support: Companhia das Lezírias, S.A.; Brisa – Auto-estradas de Portugal; EU Funds

Number of staff: 5

Number of visitors per year: 20,000 (predicted as of 2013)

Overall aims of the centre

Contribute to the Protection of wild birds

Implement habitat management measures which are appropriate to the needs of the birds

Promote and disseminate the existing biodiversity and services provided by this wetland

Description of the centre

EVOA is situated in the Natural Reserve of the Tagus Estuary (RNET), which is included in the Natura 2000 network since 1980 and is recognized as a wetland of international importance (Ramsar Site).

Since April 2013, the visitor can enjoy the wild birds, mostly in three freshwater wetlands, with 70 ha, created by the project and managed for birds. The necessary tranquility and convenience for visitors are guaranteed through hidden trails and hides that are strategically located.

The Visitor Centre offers a pleasant visitor experience.  It support visitors to get to know the birds, the estuary and the lezíria and to participate in various interactive activities. In addition to the exhibition area – EVOA, where the world meet the Tagus, the centre has a multi-purpose auditorium and a cafeteria where visitors can enjoy the space and the beautiful scenery.

EVOA has programs of interpretive guided tours and birdwatching appropriate to different audiences and ages. It also provides other recreational and educational activities and special access conditions.

Main CEPA work areas

Guided-visits and a range of environmental education activities for schools, adapted to age and different thematics.

Contextualize and raise awareness among visitors for unique aspects of this protected area, its birds and its natural and cultural values.

Top three successes

–       Management and creating 70 ha of lagoons;

–       Key stakeholders engaging: farmers, national and regional authorities, environmental associations;

–       Environmental education programme and teachers formation action;

Top three challenges

–       Engaging international birdwatching visitors;

–       Improve de access to visitor center – 12 Km of dirt road, only by car ;

–       Increase de energetic efficiency – nowadays works with fuel generator;

Interpretation techniques

Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools; Developing nature trails

Visitor centres

Setting up a new visitor centre; Managing / creating habitat; Running a visitor centre; Building / maintaining structures

Participation

Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers

Education and communication

Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials

General

Project planning.

The conception and construction of the ponds and other EVOA infrastructures followed the guidelines of WWT consulting

Email:evoa@evoa.pt

Tel: + 351 926 458 963

Website address: www.evoa.pt

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