The diversity of habitats present in the National Hunting Grounds of Mafra – TNM (woods, grasslands, brush and water courses) enable the existence of a large number of animal species.
Mostly small in size and with elusive habits, these species form part of the Portuguese natural heritage that TNM takes great pride in protecting and nurturing.
In specific terms, the high value of the ongoing conservation efforts reflects in the importance of species such as Bonelli’s eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) and the Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo).
The bird life constitutes one of the most representative fauna groups presented in the Enchanted Forest of the Mafra National Hunting Ground.
Looking upwards, we may observe the already mentioned Bonelli’s eagle. The pair residing here normally nest in maritime pines.
Another species inhabiting the TNM is the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis). This pair nests in the Baroque zone but may be spotted through the grounds.
The Eurasian eagle-owl, the largest European nocturnal bird of prey, finds tranquillity here along with the food and shelter necessary to survival.
Another more recent inhabitant of these grounds is the short-toed snake eagle (Circaetus gallicus), spotted for the first time in May 2007.
Among the most common of the over 60 species of small birds that spend time in these grounds are the tits, the redstarts, the chaffinches and the wagtails.
The galleries forming along the courses of the streams prove the habitat for numerous invertebrates and other fauna types that feed off them such as the avifauna and the herpetofauna. In these areas, we may observe a range of tritons, salamanders, toads, frogs and tree frogs, freshwater turtles and different species of snakes.
Prominent among the mammals are the fallow deer (Cervus dama), red deer (Cervus elaphus), wild boars (Sus scrofa) and foxes (Vulpes vulpes) as the species best known to the general public.
However, there are still other mammals living in these grounds and including wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), badgers (Meles meles), genets (Genetta genetta), Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon), skunks (Mustela nivalis) and European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europeus), among others.