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Eurasian blackbird. Turdus merula.

Look for this one. Even during your short park walks around town. Not far from home, a common species very worth a closer observation. And when all this is over, this is a bird you can also find in remote forest areas.

Red squirrel. Sciurus vulgaris.

Squirrels became extinct in Portugal in the 16th century. Since the 80's, they returned to northern Portugal coming from Galiza. They have later expanded to Serra da Estrela region and were introduced in Lisbon parks.
You can find them at oak, beech and chestnut tree forests but it is much easier to spot this species along pinewoods. If you come across a gnawed pine cone, look up and search for this interesting mammal.

Fritillaria lusitanica.

Is a plant endemic to the Iberian Peninsula. It has a simple campanulated flower that its stem, apparently, does not have enough strength to hold up towards the sky... Did it serve as a model for many of our bedside table lamps? This one in the picture was found in Zambujal Fort, at a high and windy spot. The singular variety (var.) "lusitanica" is a Portuguese endemism and for that reason can only be found over Portuguese territory. Flowering from March to July.

Southern smooth snake. Coronella girondica.

The first snake in our album (Suborder Ophidia) is a species of small dimensions (approx. 70 cm total length), more active at dusk and dawn and of general peaceful behavior (only when threatened releases a substance with an unpleasant odor). It is distributed throughout Southwestern Europe and its diet consists mainly of other small reptiles. It can remain active all year round, more evident between March and November.

The Marbled Fritillary. Brenthis daphne.

This is a beautiful species of butterfly (Order Lepidoptera) that is rare in Portugal and can only be found over the extreme Northeastern part of the country, namely in the Montesinho Natural Park and Serra da Nogueira. It flies from the end of May to the beginning of August.

Yew tree. Taxus baccata.

Our guide's first tree. This is an extraordinary and emblematic species typical of humid, mountainous and somehow wilder areas. It is quite threatened in Portugal mainly due to fire destruction by shepherds and cattle breeders because of its toxicity to livestock. Yew tree clusters, in Portuguese "Teixeiros", are very rare to find nowadays in Portugal. This is a species with a profound symbolic and cultural legacy in human communities and has been used for several purposes through History.

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