Terra Alta

Discover the wildlife

The fauna of the municipality is located mainly in the zone of the Ports. It has a purely Iberian and North African influence. Among mammals, the wild goat (Capra pyrenaica ssp. Hispanica) has always stood out. The wild goat is an endemic of the Iberian Peninsula, and one of the most characteristic ungulates of the peninsular Mediterranean mountain. It used to occupy the plain and the low mountains, as evidenced by the fossils and cave paintings of the Quaternary. Currently, due to human activity, it is confined to the Ports massif, although it has also spread to the surrounding mountains (Sierras de Cavalls and Pàndols, Sierra de Cardó), and has been reintroduced into the mountains. of Montserrat with specimens from the Ports.

We also find the wild boar (Sus scrofa), with a population that has been increasing due to the lack of predators and the profound socio-economic changes experienced during the sixties, which have produced a depopulation of large rural areas. Also present are the badger (Meles meles), which inhabits both the upper and lower parts of the Ports; the otter (Lutra lutra), confined to the loneliest and wildest places and which has one of its best refuges in Catalonia on the river Algars; the genet (Genetta genetta) – believed to have been brought by the Arabs to the Peninsula -, which does not inhabit the highest areas of the term, and the wild cat (Felis sylvestris), which inhabits forest areas and whose, within the Ports d'Horta, specimens have recently been released with the aim of strengthening the small native population.

Today there are a good number of pairs of vultures established in the municipality of Horta, distributed between the Roques de Benet and the Gronses. As for the rest of the diurnal birds of prey, the sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) and the goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) have suffered a significant decline in the last ten years. The most abundant is the kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), and the presence of the falcon (Falco peregrinus) is notable. The situation of the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), with about five pairs in the northern part of the Ports.

As for reptiles, snakes are the best known species. The most common are the green snake (Malpolon monspessulanus), the water snake (Natrix maura) and the green or scale snake (Elaphe scalaris). Less common are the horseshoe snake (Coluber hippocrepis), the southern smooth snake (Coronella girondica) and the northern smooth snake (Coronella austriaca); the most dangerous is the viper (Vipera latasti). Among the reptiles is also the bivouac (Chalcides bedriagai), very notorious among the inhabitants, but unfounded. The bivia in this area has one of its only refuges in Catalonia. The dragon (Tarentola mauritanica) is thermophilic, xerophilous and nocturnal, and appears in low areas on margins and human rooms (anthropophilic), and the lizard (Lacerta lepida) has a preference for areas close to crops (almond trees, vineyards).

Keep discovering the Terra Alta