La Muntanya d’Alinyà: a living mountain in the Catalan Pre-Pyrenees

  • Country:
    Spain
  • Start year:
    1999
  • Location:
    la Muntanya d'Alinyà (Fígols i Alinyà, Lleida)
  • Size (ha):
    5352
  • Area Type:
    Spain
  • Type of protection:
    N2000, National Hunting Reserve, Private Protected Area

FCLP acquired Muntanya d’Alinyà  in 1999 and became one of the largest private nature reserves in Spain. After years of studying and planning, several initiatives to improve biodiversity and to encourage green jobs have been in place. Now, a new paradigm to preserve natural values is being tested.

View of la Roca de la Pena, iconic mountain inside la Muntanya d'Alinyà site. Photo by Francesc Muntada.

Area

  • Fauna (mega) species present: Gypaetus barbatus, Gyps fulvus, Neophron percnopterus, Aquila chrysaetos, Rupicapra pirenaica, Sus scrofa, Capreolus capreolus, Tetrao urogallus, Felis sylvestris, Canis lupus
  • Fauna species reintroduced: Aegypius monachus, Oryctolagus cuniculus
  • Vegetation types present: Pinus nigra ssp salzmannii forests, Pinus sylvestris forests, Pinus uncinata forests, Quercus ilex, Q. pubescens, Q. faginea forestsmacchia areas (Thymus, Q. cerrioides, Rosmarinus, Juniperus spp.), vegetation in rocky areas (Raimonda myconi and Saxifraga longifolia)

Scope

  • Description: Maintaining the natural values of la Muntanya d’Alinyà implies maintaining sustainable human activities ongoing as in all the Mediterranean. However, due to rural depopulation and lack of viability of rural enterprises, these activities have decreased in recent years. After investing over 7 million € we are considering changing the paradigm and directing biodiversity related projects to the rewilding side. We have started with ecotouristic initiatives and a Univ research campus.
  • Aim: Maintain biodiversity and enhance natural processes - human and nature
  • Vision: La Muntanya d’Alinyà is a healthy example of the natural systems and landscapes in the Pre-Pyrenees and has become a model of the positive interaction between human activities and nature conservation that encourages people and talent to stay
  • Accomplished in 10 years from now: - Fixation of black vulture - Maintenance of the nesting pairs of Lammerg. and Egyptian vultures - Improvement of the forest structure to favour diversity and reliance against global change and forest fires - Stabilize the grazing pressure to ensure open areas are maintained - A good ex of green jobs
  • Uniqueness: This is the only area in Europe where you can spot the 4 European vulture species in the wild
  • Results so far: Ecotouristic initiatives in place (hide for vulture photography, visits to see vultures feeding, visitor center on vultures and the natural / social values of the site)<br /> Increase of visitor traffic looking for nature related activities, specially in the 2 restaurants and the local 4x4 taxi service (both families are also hunters in the area) <br /> Black vulture population fixed and nesting in neighbour area (Boumort national hunting reserve) <br /> University campus for students to prepare final thesis
  • Flagship species: Vulture
  • Other characteristics: Eco tourism, Research, Sale of sustainable products

Exchange

  • Inspirational value: Alinyà Mt. is the largest private nature reserve in Spain, managed by a conservation oriented Foundation, where a rich biodiversity is protected and restored in harmony with local inhabitants and traditional use of land and where ecotourism (vulture watching, trekking) is becoming a new socioeconomical source for Youth entrepreneurs
  • Experience you would like to share: Ecotourism (vultures), visitor centers and rewilding of large herbivores (wild horses, auroch)
  • Experience you would like to gain: Release of cattle, horses: legal conditions, administration

Video

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