Route 2. Rivers of Cambre. Nature

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Cambre has a climate with oceanic influence although it has practically no coastline and is restricted to the municipality of O Temple. This humid Atlantic climate maintains mild temperatures all year round.

Wooden bridge over the river Mero

The entire municipality is bathed by several rivers; the Mero and its tributaries cross the area from east to west and flow into the reservoir of Abegondo-Cecebre. The route follows three of them so it is characterized by the presence of river flora and riparian forests. These forests are the formations that line the rivers, and their roots are indispensable for the conservation and retention of the banks, which are at risk of being swept away by the river. Although they are resistant to water they are very vulnerable to human activity; and the alteration of the river’s course or its modification might mean they cannot develop and are displaced by less specific introduced species.

However, in this case human activity and the use of the land have prevented the self-formation of large woods of Chestnuts (Castanea sativa) and Pedunculate Oaks (Quercus robur) so they are dispersed and reduced in number, and are often substituted by Pine and Eucalyptus. Instead smaller hydrophilic and aquatic vegetation predominates such as Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana), considered as an invasive plant in altered zones, Common Bullrush (Typha latifolia), Water Lilies (Nymphaeaceae sp.), etc.

Common Kingfisher

This diversity of habitats, the river stretches and the reservoir of Abegondo-Cecebre have encouraged the development of a great variety of fauna, mainly ornithological. Amongst them we can find species such as the Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucus), -very widespread in Galicia, birds that indicate the environmental quality such as Common Kingfisher (Alcedo athis), etc. Different species of corvidae are present, such as Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) and Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius), the latter are very noticeable due to their bright light brown plumage and black wings with metallic-blue stripes. There are birds of prey as well, some of them very abundant, such as the Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo), which are easy to see perching on electricity poles. Nocturnal birds of prey are difficult to see because of their habits, but it is easy to hear their call from the distance. Amongst them the Barn Owl (Tyto alba) and the Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) stand out.

There is an important diversity of mammals; there are species such as the Otter (Lutra lutra), whose trail is easy to find on the edges of riverbeds, although it is difficult to see, and there are also mainly forest species such as Foxes (Vulpes vulpes), European Badgers (Meles meles) or Common Genets (Genetta genetta).

Otter

This obviously river environment has been altered by the use of the land so the variety of amphibians is less than it would be in optimal conditions. We must however mention the Iberian Frog (Rana iberica), endemic to the Iberian Peninsula.

Along the course of the route we might come across some reptiles on the path; amongst them Slow worms (Anguis fragilis), absolutely harmless limbless lizards which are very abundant in Galicia.

© Consorcio das Mariñas

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