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Biological diversity is the main characteristic of Navarra’s rich natural heritage. Biodiversity in Navarra is the result of the region’s special geographical location, where three biogeographic areas –the Alpine, the Atlantic, and the Mediterranean– come together. It also has to do with the fact that the region is not as densely populated as the rest of Spain (59 people per km2 vis-à-vis 91 people per km2 as the country’s average). Other factors favouring biodiversity are the harmonious development, conjugating economic and social growth and a respect for nature, the local population’s environmental awareness, and suitable habitat management policies.


Navarra is a rich mosaic of landscapes, where countless animal and plant species live. Nine main ecosystems can be distinguished: the alpine system, the fluvial areas and humid zones, the forests, the Mediterranean shrublands, the pasturelands and heathlands, the rocky places, the steppes, the limestone areas, and the salt marshals and closed (endorheic) basins. In all these ecosystems, very different species live together: brown bears, European minks, grouses, white-backed woodpeckers, otters, vultures, bearded vultures, Egyptian vultures, eagles, and bitterns, to name but a few.


A view of the Irati forest.


Castildetierra Peak (Bardenas Reales Natural Park)


Navarra’s variety of climates and landscapes, from the Cantabrian valleys and the peaks in the Pyrenees to the desert plains of the Bardenas Reales Biosphere Reserve and Natural Park, makes this region a real book of nature. 2,652 species of ferns and flower plants (20% of all the species in Europe), 27 species of fish (18%), 43 species of amphibians and reptiles (24%), 236 species of birds (47%), and 75 species of mammals (50%) live in Navarra.

Forests and rivers

Two of the main characteristics of Navarra’s natural heritage are forest conservation (64% of the region’s surface area is forests), and the abundance of water resources. There are 7,450 kilometres of rivers, with two distinct biotopes: the mountainous areas, inhabited mainly by the Salmonidae, where the predominant species are fish like trout, brown trout, dace, loach, cyprinid fish, goby, salmon; and the lower and coastal areas, where the Cyprinidae family prevails, with rough water cyprinid fish –French nase, barbel, mountain barbel–, and calm water cyprinid fish –tench, carps, goldfish– replacing brown trout and dace.

Government of Navarre

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