The Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, located in the Central Pyrenees, is the only National Park in Catalonia. It extends over 40,000 hectares of high mountain landscapes (combining the strict protection zone with the peripheral protection zone) an contains a wide variety of habitats, among which aquatic ecosystems play a prominent role.
The aquatic ecosystems are essential for the maintenance of the biodiversity of the National Park, as a lot of species, many of them protected, depend directly on them to live or to complete one of their life cycles.
Despite their remote location, high mountain aquatic areas are subject to anthropogenic threats that jeopardise their conservation status, such as the introduction of exotic species, tourist pressure, overgrazing and hydraulic infrastructures. In addition, there is also a lack of reliable, up-to-date and detailed information on their conservation status, which difficults to take effective and targeted management decisions.
Within the framework of the RestAquatic-PNAESM project, several of these problems affecting the aquatic ecosystems of the National Park will be addressed through the following actions:
- Evaluation of the conservation state of several protected vertebrate species in the PNAESM, with special attention to the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus).
- Restoration of the Collada lake by eradication of introduced fish (Salmo trutta) and the lake recovery monitoring.
- Extension and improvement of the wastewater treatment system at the Estany Llong refuge by installing a green filter and monitoring of the effects on the river.
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