The Centre for Ecology, Wildlife Watch and Rehabilitation (CERVAS) is a department of the Institute for Nature and Forest Conservation (ICNF) / Serra da Estrela Natural Park (PNSE), since 2009 under the management of the Association ALDEIA (www.aldeia.org), with the support of ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal and other partners.
CERVAS was created in 2004 to function as a hospital linked to a scientific research centre with the objective of developing working guidelines on ecology, watch and rehabilitation of wildlife. The Centre activity started in 2006 and has focused on the reception, treatment, rehabilitation and release back to nature of injured and / or debilitated wild animals, developing at the same time research lines related to wildlife conservation. These tasks are complemented with environmental education events and the promotion of the natural heritage, addressed to diverse audiences at regional level.
One of the working guidelines is the rehabilitation of injured and / or debilitated wild animals that are handed over by institutions like the Service for Nature and Environment Protection (SEPNA) of Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR), but also, occasionally, by the very people who find the animals.
Visits and other activities
In the field of Environmental Education, CERVAS organizes guided visits to its premises, during which visitors receive information on the species the Centre usually works with, as well as on the main reasons for the animals’ admission. In these visits teaching materials are used allowing a significant interaction with diverse audiences of all ages. Another objective of the visits is to give information about the native wildlife of Portugal, particularly the one that inhabits Serra da Estrela. Complementing the visits, the Centre may organize field trips for bird watching, guided by CERVAS technicians.