The site "A Mine of Biodiversity" is intended to draw attention to the natural values of the region by disseminating information about them to the general public through descriptions, photographs and illustrations of the most common habitats and their associated species. The relationship between mining activities and the biodiversity inhabiting the region is never simple. A mine without environmental impacts is an implausible scenario but in the Neves-Corvo Mine region it is nevertheless possible to observe numerous species of various taxonomic groups. Most of these species are common and widespread and, although lacking a conservation importance, they contribute greatly to Ecosystem Services by virtue of their ecological role and abundance. Biomass and timber production, as the direct result of photosynthesis, and insect pollination are just two examples. The high diversity of organisms also allows ecosystems to be more stable and therefore less susceptible to imbalances, including those that may result from climate change. Often we underestimate these Ecosystem Services and their benefits acknowledging them too late when they no longer exist. Biodiversity is the basis of the ecosystem equilibrium and of Goods and Services production. To be aware of the biodiversity of the Neves-Corvo Region is just the first step to allow its conservation.
The researchers from the Centre of Environmental Biology, Faculty of Sciences, have been supporting SOMINCOR in the area of environmental studies since 1992, and welcomed enthusiastically a proposal from the Department of Environment of SOMINCOR to built a site about the biodiversity of the Neves-Corvo region. The information on this site has been based on existing information from environmental reports developed by several organizations that have been working with SOMINCOR since 1982. The variety of studies completed by SOMINCOR over the past 30 years generated the necessary material to produce a site covering a wide range of species: trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses, bryophytes, fungi, lichens, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The high quality database of photographs and drawings of the region's biodiversity provided by the SOMINCOR collaborator, José Godinho, has been a key element in the success of the project. This site is a guide to the most common species occurring in the dominant habitats: Holm-oak woodlands, pseudo-steppe, rocks and outcrops, temporary ponds, watercourses and buildings. Its purpose is to highlight the importance of different taxa for the sustainable use of the services provided by these important habitats and ecosystems.
The scientific team of FCUL