East Atlantic flyway


WLI Europe


Name of organisation

Centro de Recuperação e Investigação de Animais Selvagens

Funding support

ANA Aeroporto-Faro, Fundo Ambiental

Number of staff

7, plus volunteers (minimum 15 per year)

Number of visitors per year

1,500 - 2,000

Overall aims of the centre

- Receive and recover injured/sick wild animals and release back to nature
- Scientific research
- Environmental awareness

Description of the centre

RIAS is a centre with an area of around 4.500 m2 with several types of facilities for the rehabilitation of wildlife, and it’s located in the Ria Formosa Natural Park (Olhão, Portugal), which covers 18.000 ha of land, lagoon and ocean.

This natural park has five islands that separate the lagoon from the Atlantic Ocean, forming different habitats, like barrier islands, saltmarsh, salt ponds, dunes, agricultural areas, etc. With it, a big diversity of birds (Greater Flamingo, Osprey, Audouin’s Gull, Spoonbill, Egrets, etc) come here to reproduce, to find shelter and/or food.

In RIAS, there is a small Environmental Interpretative Centre, which receives around 2.000 visitors every year. The team also does activities in schools, workshops, and open events of releasing animals back to nature, raising the previous number to more than 6.000 people.

Work Areas

Main CEPA work area

We have a department focused mainly on social media and environmental education. These are the main methods we use to raise awareness in the community about the species that surround us, and how to contribute to their conservation. Regularly, we use the social media to engage with our followers, asking questions in stories and showing them the animals recovering.

Additionally, we have an Environmental Interpretative Centre, where we exhibit several biological materials (skeletons and wings, for example) from animals that exist in the area, but also materials that were the reason they entered in our center, like gun pellets, bird taps, fishing gear, etc. This way, we hope to make people more aware of the threats some species face, and what they can do to contribute to their conservation.

Top three successes

- Reached 10.000 rehabilitated animals
- Get to talk about wildlife conservation with more than 180.000 people until today
- Being able to keep a seven people team

Top three challenges

- Improving the Interpretative Centre experience
- Gather financial support (through partnerships, donations and/or sponsorships)
- Reach more people through environmental education activities


Interpretation techniques

Using audio-visual tools

Visitor centres

Running a visitor centre


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

Education and communication

Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Working with secondary schools


Running effective administration; Fund-raising


RIAS/ALDEIA, Rua do Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, CEAM, Quinta de Marim, 8700-194 Olhão, Portugal.


+351 927 659 313

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