The Cinca River, a true source of life in the region, is a real ecosystem with a bulky biomass energy generated mainly by the continuous flow of water. Many invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, are linked in greater or lesser degrees to this important river.
Traversing this area from north to south is certainly an important natural wildlife corridor. One can see birds on their migratory journeys, or mammals wandering the many steps in the area, the role of this river with its great natural wealth on its banks and even extensible to nearby lands. A great variety of birds inhabits the river where they find their food sources, especially waterfowl like ducks, herons and waders. Other ones only appear seeking shelter, especially in communal roosts, and others only to drink water during periods of severe droughts.
The fauna in this region also has had to adapt to changes that man has introduced with the passage of time. Thus, the groves and forests that once surrounded the gallery river are now cultivated fertile orchards. The plain old garrigue that covered fluvial terraces or the vacant lands and treeless upland grounds are now extensive irrigated areas where crops alternate. Nevertheless, representations of those landscapes still survive in small corners of this area.
Other small natural corridors of high value for wildlife, settle in those fluvial terraces currently occupied by crops, they are called "clamores" streams excavated by torrential rains that a today serve as drains to the abundantly irrigated crops. Bee-eater, marsh harriers, Common Moorhen, water rats, toads, frogs and a little tortoise are regular inhabitants of these places.
Crops have not only transformed the landscape, some species have benefited by the food increase (invertebrates, amphibians and rodents) like stilts and storks that live in rice fields, or lapwings, very abundant in winter, or raptors capturing many rodents; Common kestrels, lesser kestrels, buzzards, even pale harriers and marsh harriers. Others have had to adapt to this new habitat, and although some are rare, they reflect a sample of what once abounded; Montagu's harrier, little bustard, curlew, ratchet, common and Thekla larks, Tawny Pipit, Montpellier snake, natterjack toad, weasel and hare.
Other areas although unproductive for man, but at one time they had their value, are the scarce steppe zones. Stronghold of animals well adapted to arid and hostile environment such as the sandgrouse, larks, red-tailed lizards, coronellagirondica and hares are some few representatives that are in the area.
The areas that did not undergo a major transformation are still noticeable because of the few preserved trees, the garrigue. Small isolated nuclei, is home to a number of animals like the eared owls, falcons, titmice, chickadees, real whistles, wood pigeons, shrikes, rabbits and ladder snake.
However, something that man has not yet been able to modify substantially is sasos, ripas and cortados throughout the region. Although by themselves do not form an ecosystem, they are a biotope and many animal species are linked to it. The eagle owl, the owl, the blue rock thrush, the black wheatear and the crag martins, are perhaps the most common in these areas along with the Genet, the gecko and some bats.
CofitaSotos and Alfántega Island:
Both areas encompass two of the best Cinca's riparian forest which hosts many typical forest and aquatic animal species. A beautiful and representative tour of a well maintained soto can be accessed from Cofita and Ariéstolas. North to Castejóndel Puente under the cut reliefs of Gesas, eroded over time by the Cinca, one finds various roads and trails, remnants of the old roads to old gravel extractions.
Emblematic species like otters are also present in both areas. A wide variety of wildlife breathe in these sites; barbs, carps, pikes and madrillas as representatives of fish. Ducks, common moorhens, gallinutes, kingfishers, sandpipers and herons are among birds. Orioles, blackbirds, black kites, tawny, mascon bird, myth and woodpeckers in the sotos riverine.
Rice fields of Selgua, Conchel, Santalecina and Alcolea de Cinca.
The crops on the right bank of the Cinca, mostly irrigation areas, are a clear example of landscape transformation carried out by the development of agriculture following the implementation of current proposals for irrigation in these lands. This has created a new habitat dominated by artificial wetlands such as rice fields and a system of irrigation ponds that are suitable for different species such as herons, stilts, sandpipers, storks, lapwings, water rats, frogs, marsh harriers and a variety of birds associated to the aquatic environment.
Espartales of Selgua, Conchel, Alcolea.
These pseudo-steppes are samples of the old existing landscape before the arrival of modern crops. They are characterized by the lack of trees and a punished relief due to erosion suffered over time. They are still haven to specialized species adapted to this particular environment. Hares, red-tail lizards, grouse, plovers, bustards and larks are among the few representatives that are still observed in these scarce steppes.
HolmoaksfromSelgua, La Almunia de San Juan, Pueyo de Santa Cruz.
They are the only remnants of the Mediterranean forest that barely survive in the county and represent a small sample of the wildlife that once dominated this land. The dormouse, genet, eared owl, the ratchet, the bee-eater, hoopoe or falcon are some of the inhabitants of these small "islands."
Sasos, cortados and ripas:
The rupícolaconditions in this area are especially present in two of the landscapes in the area. Starting with the gypsum formation originated from the crossing of the Cinca river called "Gesas" in Ariestolas up to the clay pits also created by this river which passes through the characteristic "sasos"or"muelas " in dominating places like Monzón, Valcarca or Binaced. Fonz with its beautiful souroundings and known quarry located on one of th Sierra de la Carrodilla's hills gathers excellent crags. Typical of these crags are the eagle owl, the Blue Rock Thrush, Black Wheatear, Crag Martin and the owl, but they also provide shelter for mammals like the genets.