Natural Monuments of the Pyrenean Glaciers. Natural Protected Spaces in Aragon. Natural Patrimony Aragonese. Aragon. 
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Natural Monuments of the Pyrenean Glaciers. Natural Protected Spaces in Aragon.

Protection Name and Figure:

Natural Monuments of the Pyrenean Glaciers. Declared by Law 2/1990 of March 21, of the Cortes de Aragon.

Municipal Terms:

Sallent de Gallego, Panticosa, Torla, Bielsa, San Juan de Plan, Sahún, Benasque, Montanuy.


399 hectares.


Between 2,700 meters and 3,000 meters.

Elements of Interest:

Permanent volumes of ice. Unique glacial morphologies: moraines, rocky glaciers, lakes, tundishes, ... Endemic flora and fauna.

1894* 1992**
Sallent de GallegoBalaitus5515
PanticosaPicos del infierno7219,6
TorlaVignemale o Comachibosa402,9
BielsaLa Munia406,95
Monte Perdido55670
San Juan de PlanPosets o Lardana5221,9
SahúnPosets o Lardana13210,9
BenasquePosets o Lardana13213,9
Benasque and Montanuy Maladeta-Aneto560235,1

*Data of Schrader
**Data of J. Chueca y F. Lampre


In seven Pyrenean mountain ranges located between the valleys of the Gállego River on the west and Noguera Ribagorzana on the east, are the southern most glaciers in Europe.

Monte Perdido

His scientific observation began in the late eighteenth century with the "expeditions" of the French pyrenean Ramond de Carboniers. Throughout the 19th century, other travelers such as the Huesca geologist Lucas Mallada and the Gallic geographer Franz Schrader continued their studies.
Through the writings and drawings of the latter, compared with current studies, the continuous retreat of ice can be seen. (See table of surfaces).

In 100 years they have been lost in the Aragonese Pyrenees about 1,100 ha. of ice. By the first measurements of Schrader in 1894 an extension of more than 1,500 ha was calculated. for the Aragonese glaciers. At present its surface does not reach 400 ha. and some have already disappeared.

Due to its inaccessibility and the lack of agricultural and forestry resources, glaciers are an ecosystem barely degraded by man. They are witnesses of the past and their study is important to know the evolution of the climate. Some analyzes of the air trapped by the ice come to offer information about the atmosphere thousands of years ago.

In the 80s, the protection of glaciers began to be demanded due to the proliferation of certain infrastructures -such as ski resorts and hydroelectric properties-, which threaten the glacial landscape. At this time, only the Monte Perdido glaciers were protected by the extension, in 1982, of the boundaries of the ORDESA NATIONAL PARK. In 1986 it is proposed to declare all of them as Integral Reserves of Scientific Interest, figure included in the Natural Spaces Act of 1975. Finally, after the enactment in 1989 of the Law for the Conservation of Natural Areas and Wild Flora and Fauna, in March 1990, the protection of PIRENAIC GLACIERS was achieved through the use of NATURAL MONUMENTS. This is intended to encourage the investigation of these rare and fragile natural elements, preserving them from any human alteration that endangers their natural evolution.

Other Protected Natural Spaces in Aragon:

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The project "Nature in Aragon "is an extension of the previous" Natural and Geological Heritage in Aragon", therefore extend the description of natural places of interest in Aragon such as the already ancient National Parks of Ordesa and Monte Perdido and the National Park of Moncayo with other places such as the Sierra de Guara, exponent of humid places of Half Mountain, Los Galachos del Ebro or the steppe, which in its full aridity it is represented by the Lomaza de Belchite or the wide Monegros
To complement this information, introductions to flora, fauna, fungi, geology, water, landscapes, etc. are added.
Elsewhere in the Pasapues project, reference is made to famous Aragonese naturalists such as Odon de Buen or Felix de Azara, etc.
This project is documented, whenever possible, by graphic material such as photographs, illustrations, maps, etc.

Natural Monuments of the Pyrenean Glaciers. Natural Protected Spaces in Aragon. Pyrenees, mountains, rivers, landscapes, protected areas, Fauna, zoology, ecology, Water, humidity, Piedra

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