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A Visual journey through the Cork Oak Savannas shows the special Vulture habitats in Portugal and Spain 

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Step into a world where the whispers of cork oaks mingle with the soaring flight of vultures – to the cork oak savannas of Portugal and Spain. 

Cork Oak Savannas by Rob Davies
Cork Oak Savanna by Rob Davies

The newly released “Our Journey through the cork oaks” book is a captivating exploration of the savannas of Portugal and Spain (also known as Montado and Dehesa), chronicling a 30-day, 4000-mile journey undertaken in September 2023 by the authors Rob Davies and Amanda Squire.  

Through vivid descriptions, stunning photographs, and evocative paintings, the book offers readers a glimpse into the untamed landscapes and diverse wildlife that inhabit these rare European habitats – such as the Griffon, Egyptian and Cinereous Vultures.  

Monfrague National Park, after the rains by Rob Davies
Monfrague National Park, after the rains by Rob Davies

Hundreds of Griffons soaring the skies of Alentejo and Extremadura 

As guardians of the Portuguese cork and holm oak savannas, vultures play a pivotal role in shaping these ecosystems. Their presence serves as a symbol of the region’s natural richness and resilience.  

“We made 130 observations and counted a total of 931 Griffon Vultures soaring around the rocky tops on our month-long journey around Alentejo and Extremadura. Testament to the stronghold that these Cork & holm Oak savannas offer to these giant birds, along with the wild mountain habitats.”  

– Rob Davies, Author and Artist 
Griffon Vulture pair by Rob Davies
Griffon Vulture pair by Rob Davies

Cork and Holm Savannas – a vital habitat for vultures 

The cork and holm savannas in Portugal (Montado) and Spain (Dehesa) are vital environments for vultures. Similar to the Dehesa, Montado is an agro-silvo pastoral system, renowned primarily for its cork production, yet equally notable for its distinctive savanna-like landscape, its diverse ecosystem services, and rich biodiversity.

“We must have seen a significant portion of these pairs on the mountain tops that we passed on our journey for this book. Cork and holm Oak savanna is clearly a vital habitat enabling vultures to forage and survive in modern Europe so we will be very glad to direct these proceeds from sales of paintings, book, prints and maps from our ‘Dehesa / Montado Journey’ to the Vulture Conservation Foundation.” 

– Rob Davies, Author and Artist


Dehesa-Montado Map by Rob Davies
Dehesa-Montado Map by Rob Davies

Intrigued to see more? 

For more stories and captivating visuals, you can order the book online. It is now available on Amazon and Rookwood Studios website

As conservation and vulture enthusiasts themselves, the authors Davies and Squire have offered 10% of all the sales of the book, paintings and maps to support the work of the Vulture Conservation Foundation. We want to thank the authors for their role in raising awareness about the species and their important habitats, and for believing in the importance of our work in restoring vulture populations in Europe!


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