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The Park

The Fauna

Closely related to the vegetation, the climate and the peculiar geomorphology of rocky cliffs and canyons, mountain ranges and watercourses, we find the fauna.

Thus we must highlight a rich and varied rock fauna that finds shelter and refuge in the hollows, crevices and roughness of the rocky cliffs and canyons of the Martín river and tributary ravines. The birds (wallcreepers, swifts, rock jets, chirping sparrows, jackdaws, red-billed choughs, etc.) should be highlighted.

But it is the birds of prey that take the lead among the list of rupicolous birds, both for their ecological interest and their abundance, especially the colonies that make up the griffon vulture. (Gyps fulvus) in different areas of the Cultural Park, whose abundance of individuals makes it one of the most significant agglomerations of this species in all of Aragon. We should also add the increasing presence of the Egyptian vulture(Neophron percnopterus), or white vulture as it is known in the area, which has selected the Park as a breeding place. It is not difficult to observe the majestic flight of the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), the silhouette of the peregrine falcon(Falco peregrinus ), the common kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus ) or the endangered Bonelli’s eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus). Among the nocturnal birds of prey are the Eagle Owl(Bubo bubo), the Long-eared Owl (Asio otus), the Barn Owl (Tyto alba) and the Little Owl(Otus scops) known in the area as “olivilla” announces the arrival of night with its hooting sounds in the evening in the villages.

The scarce rainfall that characterizes the park means that the fauna is concentrated around the watercourses. The tail of the Cueva Foradada reservoir, where the tamarisk forest offers protection and shelter for the breeding of aquatic species, including the great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus). It is also common to see mallards(Anas platyrhynchos), shovelers (Anas clypeata), teal(Anas crecca) and wigeons (Anas querquedula), and gadwall (Anas strepera), among other duck species that use this wetland of the reservoir during their migratory passages or as a wintering place. Also noteworthy is the occasional presence of the black stork(Ciconia nigra) and the osprey(Pandion halieatus), and more commonly we find the heron that travels the course of the Martín River in search of food. However, we must highlight this reservoir as an important wintering site for the great cormorant(Phalacrocórax carbo).

The pine forests are home to a variety of species. Numerous birds attracted by insects such as coal tits, blue tits and other birds of prey, which in turn attract forest birds of prey such as goshawks and sparrow hawks. Among the large mammals we find the wild boar(Sus scrofa) that roams large areas, the ibex(Capra pyrenaica) and the roe deer(Capreolus capreolus) in the process of expansion. In the vegetation corridor around the river and ravines we found foxes, badgers, martens, genets and, to a lesser extent, the wild cat(Felis sylvestris).

The rest of the region can be described as semi-steppe, within an undulating space between hills and ravines, treeless with abundant scrubland dominated by rosemary and gorse, where there are many species of great hunting interest such as partridges, rabbits and hares, and small birds adapted to this type of arid habitat such as the cogujadas and collalbas among others. Reptiles such as lizards, ocellated lizards and ladder snakes are also abundant.

Another aspect to highlight are the various species of bats found in caves and cavities of the Park, especially in the San Pedro chasm, considered by specialists as a biodiversity refuge without equivalent in Europe.

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