Thanks to the great variety of microclimates and habitats in the Valley, in the Madriu-Perafita-Claror you will find a great variety of Pyrenees fauna, either as its habitat, nesting or as an area for passing through in the case of migratory species, with specimens that are under threat, not just in the immediate area but also throughout the European continent.
Three species of fish, five amphibians, eight reptiles, sixty-one birds that nest and twenty-six mammals have been identified. 70% of the animal species in Andorra are found in this 10% of the national territory. This important figure highlights the extraordinary biological and environmental importance of the valley.
Below you will find a brief catalogue of the species that live in the Valley:
Eight species of reptiles have been registered in the valley. The most plentiful ones are the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) and the Iberian wall lizard (Podarcis hispanica) that can be found in the rocks and dry stone walls. In the more open areas of the lower parts of the Valley, you will also find the ocellated lizard (Timon lepida). Finally, in other areas can be found the Aspic Viper (Vipera aspis) and snakes like grass snake (Natrix natrix), green whip snake (Hierophis viridiflavus), smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) and the Aesculapian snake (Zamenis longissimus).
Amphibians and fishes
The quality of the water in the Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley means that there is a great variety of animals that populate the water environments and that are threatened by the fragility of their habitat, therefore the species that are mentioned below, with the exception of the fish, are all included in Appendix II of the Berne Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, which means they are species that are strictly protected along with their habitat, forbidding the deterioration or the deliberate destruction of breeding or resting sites.
In the montane zone, apart from the brown trout (Salmo trutta fario), autòctona i present en la majoria dels rius i estanys, trobem la truita irisada (Onchorhynchus mykiss) introduced into the River Gran Valira and into l’Estany d’Engolasters at the end of the last century and the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) introduced into some high mountain rivers and ponds. In the clear water of the wetlands, rivers and streams, you can find the Pyrenean brook salamander (Calotriton asper) endemic to the Pyrenees and under threat in our country due to the loss of its habitat. In these damp environments, you will also find amphibians such as the common salamander (Salamandra salamandra) , the common toad (Bufo spinosus), the common frog (Rana temporaria) and the common midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans).
Among the animals in danger of extinction that are found in Andorra, and that are characteristic of the alpine zone, the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) and the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) have been identified.
In the old forests of the alpine zone, particularly in the mountain pine forests, you will also find the capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), a species in danger of extinction and protected, as are the two previously mentioned ones, by the Regulation on protected animal species, of 15th of December 2000.
Although they are not threatened, the following birds are also characteristic of the alpine zone: in the mountain pine forests, the Citril finch (Serinus citrinella), and in the alpine meadows, the Eurasian skylark (Alauda arvensis), the Northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), the alpine chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus), the water pipit (Anthus spinoletta ssp. spinoletta), the alpine accentor (Prunella collaris), the ring ouzel (Turdus torquatus), the grey partridge (Perdix perdix), the tawny owl (Strix aluco), the Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), the common chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita), the Eurasian blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) and the Eurasian blue tit (Parus caeruleus).
At altitudes of between 1,200 and 2,100 metres, among meadows and conifer forests, the Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo), a protected species under threat, has been identified.
The sunny sides of Entremesaigües and Ràmio and Claror-Perafita are areas of great ornithological value, according to the Atlas of nesting birds of Andorra. There, you can find the Eurasian dotterel (Charadrius morinellus) a species with a concentrated distribution and very rare in the Pyrenees, and the Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis).
Other species that have also been identified are the red-billed chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), the Eurasian wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), the great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major), the European crested tit (Parus cristatus), the Western Bonelli’s warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli), the common wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) the rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus), the black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), the wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria) and the Ortolan bunting (Emberiza hortulana).
Among the species that inhabit the Valley you will find the typical examples of Pyrenean wildlife, such as the Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenauca), the mouflon (Ovis musimon), the Gerbe’s vole (Microtus pyrenaicus) and the alpine marmot (Marmota marmota), the red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), typical of Scots pine forests, as well as the wild boar (Sus scrofa).
Other mammals identified include the European pine marten (Martes martes), the European polecat (Mustela putorius), the weasel (Mustela nivalis), the garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus), the southwestern water vole (Arvicota sapidus) and the stoat (Mustela erminea). Thanks to the FELIS project (an agreement between the Philanthropic Association BOMOSA and the Andorran Government) in 2011, it was possible to demonstrate the presence of the wild cat (Felis silvestris), a specie in danger of extinction according to the Regulation of protected animal species of Andorra, listed in Appendix II of the Berne Convention and included in Annex IV of the Directive 92/43/EEC as an animal species of community interest in need of strict protection.
The valley also has an enormous wealth of invertebrates, including 72 species of butterflies (some of which are on the red list of the IUCN), a large variety of insects, water invertebrates, soil fauna or ants (66% of the species listed in the Pyrenees can be found in this valley).
The valley of Madriu-Perafita-Claror Is part of the project to monitor butterfly populations Butterfly Monitoring Scheme d’Andorra (BMSAnd).