The Alentejano Southwest and Vicentina Coast Natural Park (Portuguese acronym: PNSACV) is one of the largest Protected Areas in Portugal (131 000 ha of mostly private land). It is located in the southwest portion of the country, and it is ran by the Portuguese Ministry of Environment. It is home to several plant and animal endemisms, and a total of 35 different natural habitats, nine of which are considered prioritary and are protected at the European level.

 

From Jan 2000 to Dec 2006, the PNSACV was the main stage for my research. Through different funding schemes over this 6-year period, this is where I developed my Honours thesis and MsC research on European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) population management and conservation, while performing administrative and more technical duties as the Senior Biologist in the Protected Area.

 

In a nutshell, my main roles were to:

  • Develop plans for game species monitoring, conservation and management

  • Provide technical support and expertise to game managers and hunting associations to ensure sustainable hunting inside the Protected Area and adjacent Natura 2000 sites

  • Data collection and analysis, and production of technical reports and scientific papers

  • Develop and supervision of environmental education activities

  • Support to the planning of forestry development inside the Protected Area and adjacent Natura 2000 sites.