A guide to the environment, geography, climate, landscape, natural history and wildlife of Ordesa and Monte Perdido
glaciated limestone site in the Aragonese Pyrenees, which together with the Picos de Europa is the oldest nature reserve in Spain (1918). The reserve comprises of four valleys: Ordesa, Añisclo, Escuain, and Pineta. The masMonte Perdido stands at 3,335 m, the third highest peak in the Pyrenees.
See also Glaciers in the Pyrenees
The Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park and the Viñamala Hunting Reserve: consists of the Ordesa Valley, a canyon with vertical walls, being the result of successive glaciations during the Quaternary period, and the valley of the Arazas River, confluent with the Ara River, with a large number of waterfalls. The massif of Monte Perdido and the heads of the valleys of Ordesa, Añisclo, Escuain, and Pineta are also included in the Park. Viñamala is mountainous with an imposing massif subsequently modified by glacial action. It is covered with distinct types of woodlands, from mixed woodland with Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica) and Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) to Black pine (Pinus uncinata) woodland in the highland meadows. Sanctuary for wild animals 32 different species of mammals, 65 of birds, 8 of reptiles, 3 of fish and six of amphibians ( pyrenean chamois, marmot, lammergeyer, stoat, pyrenean lizard, Pyrenean frog, brown trout ). Ordesa-Viñamala contains twenty-seven habitats of interest in Europe.The reserve is situated in a remote part of Spain in central Pyrenees where the people conserve a vivid folklore tradition. More than 3,000 inhabitants (1998) live in the surroundings of the biosphere reserve in the Comarca de Sobrarbe and the Comarca de Alto Gallego municipalities, mainly engaged in tourism and small-scale industry. The area has been settled for hundreds of years with cattle and sheep farming providing the principal means of income. More than 700,000 tourists (2000) visit the reserve annually.
Major habitats & land cover types Mountain habitats; mixed woodland consisting of beech (Fagus sylvatica) and conifers such as Pinus sylvestris; black mountain pine (Pinus uncinata) woodland; sub-alpine and alpine habitats; highland meadows; rivers; agroecosystems