Case study:LIFE Charcos - Conservação de Charcos Temporários na Costa Sudoeste de Portugal (Conservation of Med Temporary Ponds in SW Portugal)

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Location: 37° 21' 20", -8° 49' 46"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Environmental flows and water resources, Habitat and biodiversity, Monitoring
Country Portugal
Main contact forename Rita
Main contact surname Alcazar
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation Liga para a Protecção da Natureza – LPN (Nature Protection League)
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
LIFE Charcos

Project summary

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The Project LIFE CHARCOS aims to promote the conservation of a priority habitat – the Mediterranean Temporary Ponds (MTP) (priority habitat 3170* of the Annex I of EU Habitats Directive) - which is increasingly threatened due to its ecological fragility and by a lack of knowledge regarding its natural value. Moreover, in the last two-decades, land management options, such as modern industrialised agriculture and tourism have caused a steep decline in the condition of this habitat in the N2000 site. This project involves a strong partnership that allies the experience in implementing concrete conservation management measures (LPN), scientific knowledge (UÉvora, UAlg and CCMAR) and local stakeholders dealing with land management (ABM and CMO), which will contribute decisively to the successful implementation of conservation actions. The project consists in a well structured frame of actions that aims to tackle CTM conservation issues posed in the Costa do Sudoeste SCI. Preparatory actions will consolidate scientific knowledge as hidrogeological functioning (A3) and biological survey (A1). Compilation of this information and its integration in a GIS (A2) will support management decisions (actions B and C). The project intends to establish conservation status evaluation criteria (A4) and define CTM management guidelines (A5). The project team will work close with landowners (B1, B2), either for conservation and restoration of ponds (C2, C3), as well as, to promote extensive grazing and habitat connectivity (C1, C6). Seed bank is intended as a repository of native germoplasm (C4) to be used in the restoration actions of the project. Restoration actions will focus on restoring hydrology and hydroperiod, taking into account the basin topography. Removal of exotic and upland scrubby plant species will be done. The restoration of a specific temporary pond will be devoted for public awareness (C5).

Monitoring surveys and results

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Lessons learnt

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Image gallery


Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district Sado and Mira
River basin Sado and Mira


River name Charcos
Area category
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category
Maximum altitude (m)
Dominant geology
Dominant land cover
Waterbody ID


Name Southwest Coast SCI – Portugal (Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Vicentina Coast (PNSACV).
WFD water body codes
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name
Pre-project morphology
Reference morphology
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body No
National/international site designation EU - Special Area of Conservation
Local/regional site designations
Protected species present No
Invasive species present No
Species of interest
Dominant hydrology
Dominant substrate
River corridor land use
Average bankfull channel width category
Average bankfull channel width (m)
Average bankfull channel depth category
Average bankfull channel depth (m)
Mean discharge category
Mean annual discharge (m3/s)
Average channel gradient category
Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)

Project background

Reach length directly affected (m)
Project started 2013/07/01
Works started
Works completed
Project completed 2017/12/31
Total cost category 1000 - 5000 k€
Total cost (k€) 1,977.465
1,977.465 k€
1,977,465 €
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources LIFE PROGRAMME 1, 483.098 Euro (= 75.00% of total eligible budget)

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Works and works supervision
Post-project management and maintenance

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure protect habitat 3170*
Other reasons for the project


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications
Floodplain / River corridor conservation and restoration of ponds
Planform / Channel pattern
Non-structural measures
Management interventions CTM management guidelines
Social measures (incl. engagement) conservation and restoration of ponds for public awareness


Hydromorphological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Biological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Physico-chemical quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Any other monitoring, e.g. social, economic

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Monitoring documents

Additional documents and videos

Additional links and references

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Supplementary Information

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