Bom Jesus takes another step in the survey of environmental heritage

Two species of butterflies with unusual colors have been identified.

Around thirty people, including children, young students from the University of Minho (UMinho), and adults of different age groups, participated in a nighttime butterfly observation at the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus. The session, held on April 23rd, in the wooded area, was part of a joint project involving the Confraternity of Bom Jesus do Monte, the University of Minho/IBS/CBMA, and the Bracara Augusta Foundation aimed at studying, characterizing, and surveying the fauna and flora throughout the Sanctuary area.

In the search and identification of animal species, a light trap was set up to attract nocturnal butterflies for subsequent identification.

In the short time the device was active, it was possible to identify two species of nocturnal butterflies with unusual colors in this group of insects: Hecatera dysodea and Orthosia cerasi.

Varico Pereira, vice-president of the Confraternity of Bom Jesus, explained that these observation sessions for inventorying and monitoring natural heritage are “necessary to meet UNESCO’s recommendations in this domain of nature.”

On the other hand, he noted, this project on the fauna and flora of Bom Jesus “strengthens collaboration between institutions and the local community, allowing us to explore a more unknown dimension of this resort, the life of nocturnal animals and plants in the Bom Jesus woods.”

In this sense, a team of final year students from the Applied Biology course at UMinho, coordinated by Pedro Gomes, lecturer in the Department of Biology and researcher at CBMA, is currently conducting the study and suggesting intervention measures aimed at safeguarding, enhancing, and maximizing all this heritage, environmental, and landscape value.

The work carried out by the students involves direct observations (birds, insects, mammals, etc.), the use of sampling equipment (nets, traps, and automatic cameras), as well as photographic records of everything that emerges throughout the seasons.

The objective is to obtain a portrait of the biological community supported by the Bom Jesus woods and to identify areas where management measures can be promoted to support greater biological diversity.

The work carried out so far has already allowed the detection of some carnivores such as foxes and genets, as well as the location of preferred areas for the observation of certain types of forest birds (blue tits, woodpeckers, great tits…).

Source: Diário do Minho

News link: