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Els Ports Natural Park

“Els Ports”

The natural park protects the Catalan part of the massif of Els Ports, this mountain range is the last part of the Iberian system. It joins three autonomous communities: Catalonia, Valencian Community and Aragon.

This nature reserve is incorporated in the Terres de l’Ebre Biosphere Reserve and in a part of Europe’s Cultural and Natural Heritage in Natura 2000, for being a Special Protection Area (SPA) and a Site of Community Importance (SCI). Lastly, also declared a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Was declared nature reserve in 2001, through the 160/2001 decree of the 12th of June, which also declared the Beech Wood in Els Ports as a partial nature reserve.

The protected area is of 35.050 hectares. Located in Southern Catalonia, “Terres de l’Ebre”, in the regions of “Baix Ebre” (“Tortosa”, “Roquetes”, “Alfara de Carles” and “Paüls”), “Terra Alta” (“Horta de Sant Joan”, “Arnes” and “Prat de Comte”) and “Montsià” (“Mas de Barberans” and “la Sénia”).

Els Ports Natural Park has great fauna and flora values, it is the natural reserve of the wild goat, the most important of the nation. It also needs to be mentioned its geological value, like its caves, gorges and simas.

About its fauna, we must mention its mammals (the otter, the wildcats and the bats), the sedentary predators (the vulture, golden eagle, Bonelli’s eagle, goshawk, peregrine falcon and the Eurasian eagle-owl), the predators nesting in the summer (the short-toed snake eagle, the booted eagle, the Egyptian vulture), and the reptiles (the Mediterranean pond turtle, the Mediterranean house gecko, the bedriaga’s skink, the horseshoe whip snake, the smooth snake, the lataste’s viper ).

Els Ports Natural Park has a wide variety of flora, around 1.300 species. The lower area and oriental slope is the preferred territory for the maquis of garrigue and Mediterranean dwarf palms. In the lower part and occidental slope the valencian oak flourishes. In the Mediterranean side, pine forests are plentiful with European black pines and scots pines with bearberries. In the most humid areas, higher and southerner of Els Ports, there is the beech and European yew. In the highest areas, with the strongest wind, we find hedgehog-broom, the anthyllis montana, the “gramenet d’anyol” and the fine-leaf sheep fescue.

It is important to mention the endemisms of Els Ports, like the common butterwort, gossets de roca-antirrhinum pertegasii or the European columbine of “Els Ports”.

The “fageda del Retaule” is one of the most meridional beech woods of Europe.

Iberian Ibex
European Columbine of Els Ports (M.C.Martinell)
Antirrhinum pertegasii

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