Green List

Pyrénées National Park (core area)
Parc National des Pyrénées (zone coeur)


First Listed



Why is it Green Listed?

The Pyrenees National Park is the third national park in France, created in 1967. It stretches over 100 kilometers, on 2 departments (Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Hautes-Pyrénées) and 2 regions (Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrenees), from Gave d’Aspe to Neste d’Aure, along the border ridge that unites it with Spain. It is the only French national park in the Pyrenean massif, it protects, on 4507 hectares of heart, territories of altitude never descending below 1000 meters and culminating at 3298 meters at the Long Peak of Vignemale. The territory of the National Park is thus endowed with a wide variety of environments (over a hundred habitat types have been identified in the Hautes-Pyrénées) and is rich in more than 500 species of vertebrates, 50 000 species of invertebrates and 3,500 vascular floristic species.

Site Attributes



National Park - Core Area

IUCN Category

Year Established

Marine Protected Area

Governance Type
Multiple Ownership

Site Manager

11/07/2014 (pilot site)

EAGL Evaluation

GL Committee Submission

EAGL Chair
Jean-Philippe Siblet

ASI Reviewer
Nicolas Perthuisot

Site Summary

Created by the Decree of 23 march 1967, the Pyrénées National Park is the third french national park. It stretches over 2 departments (Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Hautes-Pyrénées) and 2 regions (Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrénées), from “le Gave d’Aspe” to “la Neste d’Aure”, along the border ridge that unites Spain. A Unique French National Park on the Pyrenean massif, it protects the core zone, with altitude never falling below 1,000 meters and rising to 3,298 meters at the “Pique Longue du Vignemale”.

Major Site Values & Outcomes

The Pyrenees National Park is home to a wide variety of landscapes, ecosystems and natural habitats that is at the origin of a strong faunistic and floristic diversity The irregularity of the climate, the heterogeneity of the substratum, the position of biogeographical and geographical crossroads (between Central and Atlantic Pyrenees) and physical barrier that constitutes the chain of the Pyrenees , as well as the variability of the humidity gradient, contribute to the high ecological wealth of the territory of the site. The heart of the national park was created with the aim of protecting a high mountain space, and the situation of biogeographical crossroads between Atlantic and Mediterranean biomes promotes an exceptional natural heritage. It is characterized by areas of a wide variety of natural environments (mineral environments, grasslands, forests, wetlands and rivers), and many species of flora and fauna (isard, bear, large raptors, galliformes, hooked pine; more than 500 species of vertebrates, 50 000 species of invertebrates and 3 500 vascular plant species).

Overall positive outcomes are reported for evaluation. One example: the site has reintroduced Iberian ibex, an emblematic species of the massif that disappeared from the region in 1910. 109 individuals have been released since 2014. A 2017 review indicates a survival rate of more than 80%, with 34 new births indicating successful adaptation of the species to its new environment.

Conservation Summary

EAGL statement:

The charter of the Pyrenees National Park is the result of a concerted effort, with the actors of the territory and elected officials. Forty thematic meetings (7 thematic working groups) were organized. Three hundred people have brought forward, in a concerted manner, proposals for actions for the territory. During the three years of the charter of the Pyrenees National Park, nearly 200 meetings were held with local stakeholders and local partners. The charter of the National Park of the Pyrenees was approved by decree n ° 2012-1542 in council of State on December 28, 2012 and modified by decree n ° 2013-962 of October 25th. This new planning document instituted by law reform. In 2013, a first quadrennial action plan (2014-2017) was drawn up. 36 specific actions sheets have been established, 19 of which concern the core area of the national park. This first action plan expired on December 31, 2017 and its evaluation was conducted with the support of a dedicated committee.  In 2017 and 2018, the public institution conducted the consultation necessary for the development of a second action plan that will cover the period 2019-2023. 27 action sheets have been established. The action plans are the tools that allow the territorial variation of the objectives and orientations as they were set in the territory’s charter. It contributes to its implementation. Results of action plans  show successes, with the majority of actions being achieved on all major areas. At the end of the examination of the candidature of the Pyrénées National Park, the members of the EAGL have welcomed the remarkable efforts carried out by the team of managers for the conservation of the values of the site and underlined the quality and completeness of the file. The standards are reached or exceeded. On the basis of these elements, the members of the working group unanimously voted in favor of re-registering the Pyrénées National Park on the IUCN Green List subject to a positive evaluation outcomes from the site visit which was achieved in October.

Reviewer statement:

  • Verification of the conformity of the necessary documents (conformance of format and form).
  • Verification of consistency of document dates and COMPASS portal management
  • Verification of the independence of the EAGL evaluator from the candidate
  • Verification of the process of presentation of the results, and discussions between the members of the EAGL
  • Verification of the voting process (verification of quorum and different representative documents “pouvoir”)

Verification of the report of site visit

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