Get to know the Species

Lusitanian Oak

Navigator Forests: maintaining and enhancing natural values

The forests managed by The Navigator Company total around 105,000 hectares in Portugal (a country where forest areas exceed 3 million hectares). In these forests, more than 240 species of fauna and 800 species and subspecies of flora have already been identified (end of 2021). Here, biodiversity management cuts across field operations to maintain and enhance their natural values.

  • Chaenomeles japonica, also known as the Japanese Quince, is an exotic ornamental species belonging to the Rosaceae family. In winter, it sheds its leaves and gives way to delicate five-petalled flowers. These flowers give the species its name. It is derived from the Greek word chainos, meaning to split, and meles, meaning apple, because it was believed that the small edible fruits (albeit less tasty than those of the quince), which are shaped in that way and appear after flowering, split in half. You can find this thorny shrub at Quinta de São Francisco in Aveiro.

  • Fairy ring. This is what this unique living being is known as. It is made up of more than 100 mushrooms of the Clitocybe nebularis species, arranged in an immense circle measuring more than 10 metres in diameter. The organism started in the centre and, over the years, became larger and larger. In this case, it took several decades free from interference to reach this size. It can usually be seen during the months of November and December at Quinta de São Francisco (in Eixo, Aveiro).

  • Tyto alba, known as the barn owl, is a nocturnal bird of prey that takes shelter and nests in church steeples, abandoned mills and barns, and even in the chimneys of residential houses. It is a common species in Portugal, and has been sighted in several of Navigator’s forests: in Malcata, Vale do Sado, and Quinta de São Francisco, for example. Even when it does not appear, its presence is revealed by its vocalisations and the “balls” of bones, feathers, or fur it regurgitates at the end of digestion.

  • Unlike most trees in Portugal, the southern blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) starts to flower at the beginning of autumn. Its yellowish-white flowers last until the spring (sometimes until early summer) of the following year. These flowers are among the largest of all the trees in the Eucalyptus genus and the nectar they produce helps to feed the bees during the months when the greatest shortage of food leads to reduced hive activity.

  • The largest dragonfly in Portugal is the blue emperor (Anax Imperator) which can grow to about 8.5 cm in length and 10 cm in wingspan. In males, its blue colouring stands out, giving it its name, but in females, green is more predominant, as can be seen in this photo taken by João Ezequiel at Quinta de São Francisco.

  • Are you familiar with this effective insect deterrent from the animal kingdom? We are talking about the friendly common gecko (Tarentola mauritanica), which can be found all over Portugal. It differs from other species due to its dinosaur-like appearance, complete with scales and spines that resemble armour. Its feet stick to surfaces thanks to intermolecular forces (or Van der Waals forces).