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AGRUPAMENTO VERTICAL DE ESCOLAS DE VILA POUCA DE AGUIAR SUL

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  1. AGRUPAMENTO VERTICAL DE ESCOLAS DE VILA POUCA DE AGUIAR SUL “Who’safraidofthebigbadwolf? Predators in natureandculture” Portugal Located in the western part of the Iberian Peninsula, occupying around a fifth of its area, mainland Portugal extends between latitudes 37º and 42º N, measuring 561 km at its longest point, its widen varying between 112 km and 218 km. The border with Spain, much of which is delineated by rivers, covers some 1200 km. The valley of the River Tagus is usually taken as the line that divides the country into two main blocks: the mountainous north and the relatively flat south. However, despite its small size (89,000 km2), Portugal reveals a great diversity of habitats and landscapes which can only with difficulty be fitted into regional divisions. Climate, relief, soil, and the hydrology all act together to differentiate neighbouring, and seemingly homogeneous, regions. Thus, Trás-os-Montes is called Além Douro Trasmontano by some and Trás-os-Montes e Alto-Douro by others, while the Beira Alta may be called Cordilheira Central, as well as Beira Alta or Beira Serra. Even the Alentejo can be divided up in various ways, and the only widespread agreement, with the exception of a few details, is on the boundaries of the Algarve. Portugal has a wide coastal strip, which has obviously influenced the physical and human character of the country. The coastline, which is mostly straight, is 943 km long, of which three quarters runs in a mainly north-south direction, the remainder, the Algarve coast, running from east to west. The only large-scale indentations are the Aveiro lagoon, the estuaries of the Tagus and the Sado rivers, and the Formosa lagoon. The main rivers discharge into shallow estuaries of varying surface areas, with only the river Douro maintaining steep banks right to its mouth. Biodiversity The diversity of habitats and landscapes in Portugal, the result of many geographical and historical factors, has given rise to a great variety of natural life, particularly species with a restricted area of distribution within continental Europe. Due to political and economic circumstances, the country had a predominantly rural structure until the 80s. This has enabled certain species and populations to remain relatively stable, in contrast to the situation in other areas of Western Europe where intensive agriculture, together with a less diversified but more fragmented landscape, has reduced their area of distribution. In Portugal, for example, storks have never abandoned the rooftops and belltowers of towns and villages. Thus, despite the far-reaching changes that have occurred more recently, particularly in the area of agriculture, there is still a high degree of biodiversity with many unique bio-geographical features and a mix of elements from different origins. The bat population includes more than twenty species; there is a great variety of endemic fish species; carrion-eating birds that have disappeared from a Europe that has tong cleaned up its land still live among the mountain crags; in the cereal-growing plains and plateaux, there are ’steppe birds’ of African-type distribution; and southern birds and mammals inhabit Mediterranean-type scrubland. The animal species found on Portuguese territory are being adversely affected mainly by changes in their habitat caused by increasing pressure from certain agro-industrial practices, as well as from depopulation and consequent changes in land use. Intensive agriculture, monoculture tree plantations covering vast areas, continued urban expansion, enlargement of the highway network, and excessive hunting are yet more factors threatening the survival of certain species. Some populations, particularly of large mammal’s such as the wolf, are now confined to just one or two mountain areas. Throughout Portugal´s territory, birds are undoubtedly the most visible examples of animal life. These unchallenged lords of the skies, both elusive and cosmopolitan species, are everywhere, though they may only reveal their presence by a glimpse of their silhouette or through their songs and calls. However, birds are just the most familiar aspect of a varied animal life that, for any number of reasons, is normally hidden from our view. The contrasts found in vegetation throughout the country, the result of environmental conditions, have to some extent, been blurred by human activities, and nowadays the type of plant cover owes more to introductions of species and other changes brought about by humans than to the original natural structure. There is a ’Mediterranean’ Portugal, mainly located to the south of the river Mondego, dominated by evergreen trees and shrubs such as cork oak, holm oak, stone pine, laurel, Kermes oak, strawberry tree, and gum cistus, together with more intensely cultivated species such as olive, fig, and almond; then there is an ’Atlantic’ Portugal, more similar to Central Europe, where deciduous trees predominate: sweet chestnut, Portuguese oak, elm, and ash, together with shrubs such as broom and heather. FOJO de Lobo da Samardã (near Vila Pouca de Aguiar) Fojo do Lobo is an old trap to catch the wolves. It is an enclosure, made of stone, which corresponds roughly to an irregular oval structure equivalent to two thirds of a football field. The wall consists of irregular small stone megaliths at the base. At the top of the wall - as seen in the West, the best-preserved - were placed stone slabs that are wider than the thickness of this. This monument is of outstanding heritage value; sick animals were placed inside to attract the wolves either goats or sheep. Fojo of Samardã is located between Vila Real and Vila Pouca de Aguiar, next to a water line while the soil is poor, which is not surprising. This small mountain range was an intense hunting area. A nature reserve (natural reserve, nature preserve, natural preserve, bioreserve) is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities to study or research. Nature reserves may be designated by government institutions in some countries, or by private landowners, such as charities and research institutions, regardless of nationality. Nature reserves fall into different IUCN categories depending on the level of protection afforded by local laws.

  2. Agrupamento de Escolas de Vila Pouca de Aguiar- Portugal Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? Predators in natureandculture FOJO de Lobo da Samardã (near Vila Pouca de Aguiar) Fojo do Lobo it’s an old trap catch the wolf. It is an enclosure, made of stone, which corresponds roughly to an irregular oval roughly equivalent to two thirds of a football field. The wall consists of irregularly with small stone megaliths at the base. At the top of the wall - as seen in the West, the best-preserved - were placed stone slabs that are wider than the thickness of this. This monument is of outstanding heritage value; sick animals were placed inside to attract the wolf either goats or sheep. Fojo of Samardã is located between Vila Real and Vila Pouca de Aguiar, next to a water line while the soil is poor, which is not surprising. This small mountain range was an intense hunting area.

  3. Biodiversity The diversity of habitats and landscapes in Portugal, as a result of many geographical and historical factors, has given rise to a great variety of natural life, particularly species with a restricted area of distribution within continental Europe. Due to political and economic circumstances, the country had a predominantly rural structure until the 80s This enabled certain species and populations to remain relatively stable, in contrast to the situation in other areas of Western Europe where intensive agriculture, together with a less diversified but more fragmented landscape, has reduced their area of distribution. In Portugal, for example, storks have never abandoned the rooftops and belltowers of towns and villages. Thus, despite the far-reaching changes that have occurred more recently, particularly in the area of agriculture, there is still a high degree of biodiversity with many unique bio-geographical features and a mix of elements from different origins. The bat population includes more than twenty species; there is a great variety of endemic fish species; carrion-eating birds that have disappeared from a Europe that has tong cleaned up its land still live among the mountain crags; in the cereal-growing plains and plateaux, there are ’steppe birds’ of African-type distribution; and southern birds and mammals inhabit Mediterranean-type scrubland. The animal species found on Portuguese territory are being adversely affected mainly by changes in their habitat caused by increasing pressure from certain agro-industrial practices, as well as from depopulation and consequent changes in land use. Intensive agriculture, monoculture tree plantations covering vast areas, continued urban expansion, enlargement of the highway network, and excessive hunting are yet more factors threatening the survival of certain species. Some populations, particularly of large mammal’s such as the wolf, are now confined to just one or two mountain areas. Throughout Portugal´s territory, birds are undoubtedly the most visible examples of animal life. These unchallenged lords of the skies, both elusive and cosmopolitan species, are everywhere, though they may only reveal their presence by a glimpse of their silhouette or through their songs and calls. However, birds are just the most familiar aspect of a varied animal life that, for any number of reasons, is normally hidden from our view. The contrasts found in vegetation throughout the country, the result of environmental conditions, have to some extent been blurred by human activities, and nowadays the type of plant cover owes more to introductions of species and other changes brought about by humans than to the original natural structure. There is a ’Mediterranean’ Portugal, mainly located to the south of the river Mondego, dominated by evergreen trees and shrubs such as cork oak, holm oak, stone pine, laurel, Kermes oak, strawberry tree, and gum cistus, together with more intensely cultivated species such as olive, fig, and almond; then there is an ’Atlantic’ Portugal, more similar to Central Europe, where deciduous trees predominate: sweet chestnut, Portuguese oak, elm, and ash, together with shrubs such as broom and heather. Trees are the most important element in plant cover and the distribution of the main species gives a better understanding of the nature of the vegetation. A nature reserve (natural reserve, nature preserve, natural preserve, bioreserve) is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities to do studies or research. Nature reserves may be designated by government institutions in some countries, or by private landowners, such as charities and research institutions, regardless the nationality. Nature reserves fall into different IUCN categories depending on the level of protection afforded by local laws.

  4. Portugal Located in the western part of the Iberian Peninsula, occupying around a fifth of its area, mainland Portugal extends between latitudes 37º and 42º N, measuring 561 km at its longest point, its widen varying between 112 km and 218 km. The border with Spain, much of which is delineated by rivers, covers some 1200 km. The valley of the River Tagus is usually taken as the line that divides the country into two main blocks: the mountainous north and the relatively flat south. However, despite its small size (89,000 km2), Portugal reveals a great diversity of habitats and landscapes which can only with difficulty be fitted into regional divisions. Climate, relief, soil, and the hydrology all act together to differentiate neighbouring, and seemingly homogeneous, regions. Thus, Trás-os-Montes is called Além Douro Trasmontano by some and Trás-os-Montes e Alto-Douro by others, while the Beira Alta may be called Cordilheira Central, as well as Beira Alta or Beira Serra. Even the Alentejo can be divided up in various ways, and the only widespread agreement, with the exception of a few details, is on the boundaries of the Algarve. Portugal has a wide coastal strip, which has obviously influenced the physical and human character of the country. The coastline, which is mostly straight, is 943 km long, of which three quarters runs in a mainly north-south direction, the remainder, the Algarve coast, running from east to west. The only large-scale indentations are the Aveiro lagoon, the estuaries of the Tagus and the Sado rivers, and the Formosa lagoon. The main rivers discharge into shallow estuaries of varying surface areas, with only the river Douro maintaining steep banks right to its mouth. Most of the country is relatively close to the sea. Only one small section in the north-east is more than 200 km from the Atlantic and two-thirds of the population is concentrated in the coastal strip. The coast is generally low-lying and sandy and extensive dune systems are found between the Aveiro Lagoon and the headland at Nazaré, and between the mouth of the river Sado and the cape at Sines. Ctiffs are the dominant feature in the south, particularly around cabo da Roca, in the area around Arrábida and Espichel, and along the coast between Vila Nova de Milfontes and the cape of Sagres. The almost invariable roughness of the seas has formed sandy beaches, often backed by coastal dunes which extend a short distance inland. Portugal’s climate is influenced by its position on the Atlantic and its proximity to the Mediterranean, as well as by the compact form of the Iberian Peninsula and the nature of its relief. The Atlantic influence generates a mild climate with a narrow temperature range and high levels of atmospheric humidity, particularly in the Minho and Douro Litoral regions in the north-west. These same conditions also prevail on numerous north - and northwest - facing slopes and on a significant proportion of the northern coastal strip. The Mediterranean influence, giving rise to long summers, high average temperatures, and extreme aridity with little rain in winter, is mostly seen south of the River Tagus, but is also evident in the Terra Quente events of the Trás-os-Montes region and on the southern faces of the limestone hills. Apart from the mountainous areas, average temperatures do not exceed 17º-18º in the south nor go below 13º-14º in the north. The Coastal areas face less temperature variation than inland areas, the north-eastern parts of the latter showing a marked continental influence. Rainfall is uneven, with marked differences between the north and south, varying between 1500 mm in the north-west to 300 mm in the south of the country. Its occurrence over the year is variable and at times extremely erratic; these variations increase from north to south, where in some places over 20% of the annual precipitation can fall in a single day. The predominance of northerly winds contributes to the wet conditions found in the regions situated along the coastal strip, as well as on north-facing slopes. Easterly and south-easterly winds are ,at times, accompanied by very rough seas. Portugal’s territory is a veritable meteorological mosaic, and it is often difficult to draw boundaries between the different types of climate. Differences in relief between the north and the south, together with the fact that parts of the coastal relief run parallel to the coastal strip, weaken the influences of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and in a way can explain the climatic variations within relatively small areas

  5. Biodiversity The diversity of habitats and landscapes in Portugal, the result of many geographical and historical factors, has given rise to a great variety of natural life, particularly species with a restricted area of distribution within continental Europe. Due to political and economic circumstances, the country had a predominantly rural structure until about twenty years ago. This enabled certain species and populations to remain relatively stable, in contrast to the situation in other areas of Western Europe where intensive agriculture, together with a less diversified but more fragmented landscape, has reduced their area of distribution. In Portugal, for example, storks have never abandoned the rooftops and belltowers of towns and villages. Thus, despite the far-reaching changes that have occurred more recently, particularly in the area of agriculture, there is still a high degree of biodiversity with many unique bio-geographical features and a mix of elements from different origins. The bat population includes more than twenty species; there is a great variety of endemic fish species; carrion-eating birds that have disappeared from a Europe that has tong cleaned up its land still live among the mountain crags; in the cereal-growing plains and plateaux, there are ’steppe birds’ of African-type distribution; and southern birds and mammals inhabit Mediterranean-type scrubland. The animal species found on Portuguese territory are being adversely affected mainly by changes in their habitat caused by increasing pressure from certain agro-industrial practices, as well as from depopulation and consequent changes in land use. Intensive agriculture, monoculture tree plantations covering vast areas, continued urban expansion, enlargement of the highway network, and excessive hunting are yet more factors threatening the survival of certain species. Some populations, particularly of large mammal’s such as the wolf, are now confined to just one or two mountain areas. Throughout Portugal´s territory, birds are undoubtedly the most visible examples of animal life. These unchallenged lords of the skies, both elusive and cosmopolitan species, are everywhere, though they may only reveal their presence by a glimpse of their silhouette or through their songs and calls. However, birds are just the most familiar aspect of a varied animal life that, for any number of reasons, is normally hidden from our view. The contrasts found in vegetation throughout the country, the result of environmental conditions, have to some extent been blurred by human activities, and nowadays the type of plant cover owes more to introductions of species and other changes brought about by humans than to the original natural structure. There is a ’Mediterranean’ Portugal, mainly located to the south of the river Mondego, dominated by evergreen trees and shrubs such as cork oak, holm oak, stone pine, laurel, Kermes oak, strawberry tree, and gum cistus, together with more intensely cultivated species such as olive, fig, and almond; then there is an ’Atlantic’ Portugal, more similar to Central Europe, where deciduous trees predominate: sweet chestnut, Portuguese oak, elm, and ash, together with shrubs such as broom and heather. Trees are the most important element in plant cover and the distribution of the main species gives a better understanding of the nature of the vegetation. Deciduous oaks - Engtish, Pyrenean and Portuguese - thrive mainly in the northern half of the country, while among evergreen oaks, the cork oak prefers the BaixoAtentejo while the holm oak is found mainly in the east. The sweet chestnut, a species whose area of expansion has shrunk as a result of land clearance for cultivation, excessive felling, and root rot disease, grows mainly in the north-eastern Trás-os-Montes region, but is also found in the south in the São Mamede and Monchique mountains. Among Mediterranean-type fruit trees, carob, almond and fig grow mainly in the Algarve, although almond is also found in the Terra Quente of Trás-os-Montes and fig in the Tagus valley and in some areas of the Alentejo. Olive trees, whose cultivation became widespread in the 19th century, grows in flat areas and on slopes up to 800 m, and can be found almost everywhere, but particularly in Trás-os-Montes, Beiras, central A|entejo and on the left bank of the river Guadiana. Maritime pine, the most common tree in the country, can be found anywhere from coastal dunes to the higher parts of mountain areas, forming great forests north of the river Tagus and dominating the landscape in the Entre Douro e Minho region, part of the Beira provinces, and Estremadura. Stone pine grows most densely to the south of the Setúbal peninsula. Eucalyptus is an exotic species introduced relatively recently (19th century) into Portugal. Due to its rapid growth and the quality of its fibres, it is much in demand for the paper pulp industry, the main reason for its rapid expansion