Baixo Vouga Lagunar is an environmental sensitive area with mainly agricultural activity. It is characterised by the existence of wetland, open field and 'bocage' landschape. (bocage landscape consists of very small parcels of land separated by hedges and ditches). It is an area with high biodiversity, with many protected birds, otters, ferrets, frogs, eel and 'marinhoa', a local and endangered breed of cattle.
Problems caused by climate change:
A higher sea water level will lead to an extension of the estuarium under tidal influence. As a result, the salt / sweet water line is moving further upstream, putting the unique (Natura 2000 status) area of Baixo Vouga Lagunar under pressure;
More extreme weather conditions may cause an increase of floods from rivers in the area (which bring salted water into the agricultural land) and drought in dryer periods. The direct result is that agricultural systems cannot be maintained if the area becomes saltier, more frequently flooded and wetland becomes endangered. The ´bocage´ landscape will disappear, as well as the unique flora and fauna.
Aerial Baixo Vouga Lagunar Bocage landscape