Herdade da Coitadinha

Montado Inland Mountains

Name Description

Bank tributary of the Guadiana River, in the Alentejo province, 200 km south-east Lisbon and 8 km from Barrancos.

Size 1.000 ha

Private property, EDIA, Empresa de Desenvolvimento e Infra-Estruturas de Alqueva, SA.

Soil and topography

The site is hilly and limited by the entrenched valleys of River Ardila and Murtega stream. Altitude ranges from about 150 to 300m. Most soils are eutric lithosols derived from schist, with a smaller area occupied by ferric luvisols.


The site is in the Meso-Mediterranean Sub-Humid Bioclimatic zone, with average annual rainfall of 500-600mm, and mean annual temperature of 16-17.5ºC.

Montado type
Holm oak dominant
Past history of use

From late XIXth century to 1976, was managed as a farm in a self-sufficiency regime, with montado used primarily for the extensive production of goats, sheep, cattle and black pigs. There was also cultivation of wheat and barley under the tree canopy, with flour produced in local watermills. From 1976 to 1990, after the 1975 revolution, the estate was occupied by rural workers and managed by a cooperative. The management was similar to the past, though more intensive in terms of cereal cultivation and livestock densities. In 1990 the estate was returned to the former landowners, but management was very much reduced. In 1997 the estate was bought by EDIA, slowly starting the current management model.

Current use

The site was bought by EDIA as a biodiversity offset to the building of the Alqueva dam, and so it is currently managed as a nature protection area (Parque Natureza de Noudar; www.parquenoudar.com). Management is made to promote biodiversity, while demonstrating the compatibility with land uses such as cattle grazing (0.5 livestock units/ha), winter fattening of black pigs, hunting (mostly wild boar), and eco-tourism. Holm oak woodlands are managed to promote natural regeneration, increase acorn production and maintaining tree health.

Main drivers of change

In the foreseeable future the site will maintain its current land use, and so there are no imminent threats to the montado system. The main problem is the spread of oak tree diseases and mortality, which in the mid-term may impair the health of the ecosystem. Fire is a permanent threat, but there is thorough fire surveillance during the periods of high risk.

Available datasets
  • Biodiversity inventory and monitoring has been carried out in the Coitadinha estate since it was bought by EDIA.
  • Vascular plants and vertebrates have been thoroughly inventoried, with less systematic information also available for other taxonomic groups (e.g., macrofungi).
  • Systematic monitoring programs are ongoing for the following groups and species:
    • Vascular plants (2004-2009);
    • Fish (2004 – 2009);
    • Birds (2001 – 2009);
    • Red deer (2006 - 2009) and Rabbit (2006 – 2009).