Around 15 mountainous nature reserves - and many more if you count the nearby piedmont plain - strive to protect natural, wildlife, floral, geological and palaeontological heritage; and more widely work for the preservation of the biodiversity. Thanks to these protected areas, we can discover, protect, manage, and above all, pass on our natural heritage.
There are 9 nature reserves in Catalonia, including the Cerbères-Banyuls maritime reserve. Created in 1974, it was the first of its kind in France. Two in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques, including the famous Ossau reserve and vulture cliff. Since 1974 this park has been the site for preservation of the griffon vulture in the Pyrenees. It provides the public with a magnificent venue for observing the animal.
The Néouvielle nature reserve, with a surface area of 2,313 hectares, is a national reserve. Situated in the Aure valley, it is laid out on tiers between 1,800 and 3,091 metres high. The reserve is managed by the Pyrenees national park. The symbol of the reserve is the mountain pine. This pine grows at altitudes of up to 2,600 metres - a European record!
There are two other reserves in the Hautes-Pyrenees: Pibeste and Aulon.
In Ariège, the Orlu national reserve, created in 1947 has a slightly different status, as it is managed by the national hunting and wildlife department.
This reserve, with 4,248 hectares, is primarily concerned with wildlife preservation: izards, marmots, grouse, heather cocks, etc.

In the Aude area, the somewhat barbaric title, Reserve TM 71 hides a unique reserve. This cave, situated in the Sault country, has an extraordinary crystallization with blue aragonite and white prismatic candles. Of course, it is not open to the public to ensure its preservation.


Two regional nature parks - in the Catalonian Pyrenees and the Ariège Pyrenees, inaugurated in 2009, contribute to the preservation of the Pyrenean natural environment, aiming to develop it as a means for economical development.