In the SAC (Special Area of Conservation) “As Catedrais,” 21 types of natural habitats were identified, of which 6 are defined as “priority” habitats. Among them, the “Atlantic wet heaths with Erica ciliaris and Erica tertralix" (4020*) and the “Dry Atlantic coastal heaths with Erica vagans" are of special importance. 24% of this last kind of habitat is on the Galician-Asturian coast.
Among the keystone species in the SAC “As Catedrais”, the oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) and the European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), are designated as vulnerable in the Galician Catalogue of Endangered Species (CGEA, 2007). Also of note are wintering waders such as the ruddy turnstone (Arenarioa interpres) and the purple sandpiper (Calidris maritima); migratory seabirds (gannets, shearwaters, black ducks...) and other typical birds of the Atlantic landscape such as lesser krestels (Falco tinnunculus), barn owls (Tyto albo) ...
As for mammals, otters (Lutra lutra) thrive in this coast and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are regular visitors of these waters.
In the few freshwater spots, such as ponds, live small and interesting endangered populations (vulnerable according to the CGEA 2007) of European tree frogs (Hyla molleri) among other species of amphybians. Among reptilians, the Iberian emerald lizard (Lacerta schreiberi) is a stand-out in heathlands.
The botanic gem of the SAC “As Catedrais” is the Statice dodartii (Limonium dodartii), endemic to the Atlantic, listed as critically endangered / in danger of extinction in Spain's Atlas and Red Book of Endangered Vascular Flora and in the CGEA 2007 respectively. Also of note are other endemic species such as the “love herb” (Armeria pubigera) and the Angelica pachycarpa.
Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)
European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Ruddy turnstone (Arenarioa interpres)
Statice dodartii (Limonium dodartii)
“Love herb” (Armeria pubigera)