This 37-hectare park of pine forests set at an altitude of 1800m at the foot of the Pla Del Mir has two circuits to discover the plants and wildlife, a 3500m one and a shorter one of 1500m.
The park is a place of discovery set amidst green surroundings.
You will come across the various species of animal living in semi-freedom in a natural habitat as you go around the circuits.
The park is open all year round and visitors will get to know the large wild animals of the Pyrenees (bear, stag, deer, wild boar, mountain sheep, ibex, Pyrenean chamois, wolf, roe deer, marmot, reindeer, bison, etc.).
It is in this entirely natural setting that you can admire the Pyrenean animals of today and who have in fact always lived here, such as the wild boar and Pyrenean chamois, as well as those no longer found on the French side of the Pyrenees such as wolves and ibexes. Declining and endangered species, such as bears, and those which have definitively disappeared from the Pyrenees, such as bison and reindeer, are totally at home in this Capcir park.
Large and small herbivores that have disappeared over the centuries – such as stags, roe deer, mountain sheep, and marmots - have been reintroduced and are very much at home.
All you need to observe the mountain wildlife is a bit of patience and a love of animals. These species have been an integral part of human history for centuries, and the prehistoric wall art in Pyrenean caves shows just how long man has interacted with them, as indeed he still does today via hunting, rearing, leisure activities, and art.
THE ANIMALS IN THE PARK :
- Brown bears are the stuff of myth and legends in the Pyrenees and the source of many traditions, as well as featuring in many place names.
- Wolves are a legendary animal like the bear, but they have been misunderstood and seen as an animal of terror and cruelty, resulting in their extermination.
- Wild boar are sedentary animals who make the forests here their home. They live in groups and are especially active at night. They love water and wallowing in the mud. They use their snout to search for food in the soil.
- The stag is the largest and finest mammal in the deer family. Stags are noble and majestic animals and lords of the forests with their powerful antlers.
- Roe deer are a lot smaller than stags and have shorter antlers, but they are found in large numbers in the forests and are an elegant, sprightly animal of the lower mountain regions.
- Wild mountain sheep disappeared from the Pyrenees thousands of years ago but were reintroduced to the Carlit massif from Corsica and Sardinia 30 years ago. They prefer dry, pebbly, uneven terrain.
- The Pyrenean chamois is a noble animal and a symbol of the Pyrenees. They are remarkably elegant with their fine, closely spaced horns.
- The marmot disappeared 10,000 years ago but was reintroduced in 1960. They live entirely freely in the Park and are only visible in the springtime as they hibernate from November to April. They live in colonies and act as the sentinels of the mountains, whistling at the slightest sign of danger.
- The ibex is a magnificent animal with great horns in the shape of the sabre, but it disappeared from the Pyrenees in the early part of the century. It is a protected species in France and lives on steep slopes thanks to its extraordinary agility.
- The bison are the largest animals in the Park, and in the Pyrenees too no doubt, back when it used to live here 11 centuries ago. Bison were very important to our prehistoric ancestors’ daily life and the caves in the Pyrenees contain many painted or carved images of them.
- Reindeer disappeared from the region thousands of years ago, and they too were bound up with the life of our prehistoric ancestors.
- Deer are hardy animals, between a stag and roe deer in size.
From 9 AM to 5 PM every day.
Closed in November.
Length of visit:
Shorter 1500m circuit: about 1 hour's walk
Longer 3500m circuit: about 2 hour's walk