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Sunday, 20 October 2019
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Orlu Reserve: an area which combines exceptional biodiversity and traditional human activities.


ane et enfant en promenade  dans la reserve d'Orlu

This large natural area of 4,248 ha includes the entire upper part of the River Valley "Oriège", surrounded by several valleys with steep slopes and difficult access.
With an altitude from 950m to 2765m, it owns all levels of vegetation, since the montane to nival.
The variety of habitats, which means great variety of flora and fauna ,  associated with the maintenance of human activities such as pastoralism gives it an exceptionally rich heritage.
It owns  a set of habitats and species, characteristics of the Pyrenees.
You can find in Orlu Reserve:
- remarkable habitats, including: pine forests hook, dry grasslands with orchids, bog, ...
- A diverse flora including several protected species: the round-leaved Sundew, ...
- Much of the Pyrenean fauna, including some species with high heritage value: Isard, the three galliform mountain (Capercaillie, Ptarmigan and Grey  Partridge ), the bearded vulture, the Pyrenean brook newt, the Pyrenean desman, ...…
Marmots (introduced in the 1950s from the Alps) are also very numerous.
Orlu Reserve is now owned by the both municipal of Orlu and Orgeix.
Founded in 1947, she has experienced several successive protection status before being established  National  Reserve for Hunting and Wildlife   by Ministerial decree in 1998, because of its heritage value and its large area.
It is managed by the National Office for Hunting and Wildlife who develops inventory programs, management, scientific research, training and information on mountain wildlife and its habitats.
Orlu Reserve is also a space to maintain traditional activities and develop new activities.
Pastoralism is essential to maintain its biodiversity as it keeps open environments and large surfaces with grass.
The reserve has four areas of mountain pastures in summer occupied by sheep, cattle and horses.
During your hike, you will probably meet the herd of Gascon cows which occupies the lower part of the summer pastures. Above, in steep areas, the sheep eat delicious grass of high mountain.
Forestry is only  in the bottom zone of the reserve.
Nature tourism attracts many people, mostly for hiking trails.
Located near En Beys lake, the refuge,  guarded by Sylvain Julien welcomes you: laughter and good food guaranteed!

Dogs forbidden

la réserve d'Orlu est interdite aux chiensIn order not to disturb wildlife, the reserve is prohibited to dogs, even leashed.

to know more

la reserve d'Orlu est gérée par l'ONCFS

Orlu reserve is managed by ONCFS: National Office for Wild Fauna
If you want to know more about Orlu Reserve and studies carried out there: visit the ONCFS website..