Green List

Orlu National hunting and wildlife reserve
Réserve Nationale de Chasse et de Faune Sauvage Orlu


First Listed



Why is it Green Listed?

The Orlu national hunting and wildlife reserve is located at the extreme south-east of the Ariège department, it includes all the upper valley of the Oriège oriented north-south then east-west, surrounded by several perched hills (Baxouillade, Parau …).

With altitudes between 950 m and 2 765 m (Pic de la Grande Porteille), it
intersects all vegetation levels, from the lower mountain floor to the nival level. It thus shelters a set of habitats and species characteristic of the Pyrenean massif, with a rather high rate of endemism. 

Site Attributes



National Hunting And Wildlife Reserve

IUCN Category

Year Established

Marine Protected Area

Governance Type
Federal or national ministry or agency

Site Agency
Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage

Site Manager


EAGL Evaluation

GL Committee Submission

EAGL Chair
Jean-Philippe Siblet

ASI Reviewer
Nicolas Perthuisot

Site Summary

The Orlu national hunting and wildlife reserve is located at the extreme south-east of the Ariège department, it includes the upper valley of the Oriège surrounded by several perched hills (Baxouillade, Parau). With altitudes between 950 m and 2 765 m (Pic de la Grande Porteille), it features a range of habitats and species characteristic of the Pyrenean massif, with a rather high rate of endemism. The Orlu Reserve is also a place where traditional activities are maintained and new activities are developed. Pastoralism takes place there with 4 areas of summer pastures occupied (sheep, cattle, horses). Silviculture is only recorded in the lower zone of the reserve and contributes more generally to the protection of forests in the rest of the area

Major Site Values & Outcomes

The site  has a significant proportion of remarkable habitats: out of the 68 habitats identified during the application of the Habitats Directive (DH) and the constitution of the network of Natura 2000 sites, 37 are classified in Appendix 1. In particular pine groves, grasslands, and peat bogs. 2006-2007: The reserve is included as a Natura 2000 site.  A large representation of the Pyrenean fauna, including most of the so-called emblematic species: the chamois, the 3 mountain galliformes (capercaillie, ptarmigan and mountain gray partridge), the bearded vulture, the euprocte and the desman of the Pyrenees. A very diverse flora including protected species, many of which are Pyrenean endemics: the round-leaved sundew, the yellow plumper, the whole leaf primrose, the Braun’s polystyrene, the snow white butterbur, the garlic victory, Burser’s gentian.

Implementation of the management plan is consistent with successful conservation for biodiversity and habitats identified above. Management plan objectives aligned with site values are being met, along with the conservation requirements of Natura 2000, Habitats Directive.

Conservation Summary

EAGL statement:

The consultation and governance put in place by ONCFS (park management) resulted in a gradual strengthening of land from 3,770 ha to 4,243 ha, as well as a consolidation of the status of regulatory protection, which evolved in several stages from a simple Game Reserve to a National Wildlife and Hunting Reserve.

Numerous inventories of natural and cultural values have been made, offering a detailed knowledge of the territory and its main heritage and socio-economic issues. The reserve is a territory of studies and scientific research, dedicated to the study, protection and management of mountain wildlife, and more specifically for Isard (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica) for 30 years and the capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus aquitanicus). But other scientific and monitoring programs are also carried out, Desman of the Pyrenees Galemys pyrenaicus), European otter (Lutra lutra), Pyrenean bear (Ursus arctos arctos), Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta), Bearded vulture ( Gypaetus barbatus), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). 

The different management plans made it possible to refine the knowledge and management of this remarkable space, its integration into other planning documents (Natura 2000) reinforces this evolution. The reserve has become a source of employment and constitutes the tourist attraction of the town. Tourist attendance is the subject of particular attention in terms of information, awareness and supervision.

The various species of fauna, flora and the most remarkable habitats of the Reserve are in a satisfactory state or even improved as the capercaillie. Pastoralism has become an ally in the management of habitats favorable to mountain Galliformes. ONCFS is at the interface between the municipality, nature protection associations, tourism professionals and farmers.

ollowing the review of the Orlu National Wildlife Sanctuary, the EAGL welcomed the remarkable efforts of the team of managers for the conservation of the values of the site and underlined the quality and the completeness of the file. All standards are met or exceeded. On the basis of these elements, the members of the working group unanimously voted in favor of the inscription of the Orlu National Wildlife Sanctuary on the protected area green list.

Reviewer Statement

Verification of the conformity of the necessary documents (conformance of format and form) and availability in COMPASS.

Conformity of process: Self assessment; Site visit program; Report of audit; Used of panorama and protected planet; Stakeholder feed-back; Action plans; EAGL decision, discussion, vote;

Verification of consistency of document dates

Verification of the independence of the EAGL evaluator / the candidate

Verification of good use of COMPASS Portal by EAGL

Verification of used of panorama and protected portal

First analysis done 05/07/2017 based on “RNCFS Orlu _dossier complet.docx” from novembre2016 and final validation 20/10/2018

Please note that our website is in a BETA phase and is still undergoing final testing before our official launch.
IUCN Green List

IUCN Green List
Protected | Conserved Areas

Subscribe to our mailing list

Privacy Policy Legal Sitemap

© 2024 IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature
Site by Design Factory
This website is possible thanks to the support from:

Join the conversation

IUCN Green List