The Sorraia wild horse is theorised to be an ancient horse breed that was once found wild across the Iberian Peninsula, but whose populations decreased dramatically under pressure from hunting and the rise of domestic livestock and mechanised agriculture. The Sorraia has a particularly interesting history, having once been called the “zebro” or “zebra” in Portuguese, due to its striped markings.
A small population of Sorraia horses, thought to be direct descendants of the zebro, was discovered in the 1920s. It is from this stock that the lineage has been preserved, although the breed remains rare.
Miranda donkey is the only officially recognised donkey breed in Portugal. It s considered an Endangered animal. With only 600 breeding females and 25 males. Males are often castrated so they are at a high risk of extinction.
The Algarvia breed of goat is one of the oldest Portuguese breeds, not very much in decline, this breed is being revived.
Goats are being used widely as natural fire protectors, eating dry vegetation and clearing natural fire-breaks.