Barcelona has an important natural heritage thanks to the magnitude of Collserola mountains, which limits the city (over 8,000 hectares) with a variety of habitats that provide a considerable richness of species. Rivers and the sea complete the natural surroundings of Barcelona. The city center includes parks and gardens, and some important areas: Montjuïc (its cliff is included in the Inventory of Geological Areas from the Government of Catalonia), Tres Turons and Ciutadella park. Private green areas, parks, gardens and street trees complete the natural heritage.
There are nearly 100 native species of invertebrates listed in the center of Barcelona. The total number of common birds is 75. Many vertebrates in Barcelona are protected by law: 55 birds, 2 amphibians, 8 reptiles and 7 mammals. It is in fact an important heritage for an urban area. Colonies of hedgehogs in the Zoo or several species of bats are striking examples of the richness within the city. This heritage is constantly threatened by urban pressure and it needs to be protected.
In Barcelona there are some species of birds which represents a big contribution to birds in Catalonia: herons, alpine swifts, peregrine falcons and jackdaws. Other notable birds are owls and kestrels. Birds in winter and spring are different, which indicates the good hosting capacity of the city. Barcelona is also a place for migrant birds.
The great potential of aquatic habitats (freshwaters and sea) is also important. Aquatic flora and fauna from the few lakes which are naturalized in parks and gardens is quite rich. Colonisation of underwater reefs has been fast and varied in terms of species and there is a clear improve in the biodiversity around the river Besós. The network of urban gardens have become places which are rapidly colonised by flora and native fauna associated with agricultural areas.
Regarding wildlife, there are measures to try to keep populations of some animals (pigeons, cats, wild boars, parakeets, turtles, fishes and weevils), as well as quaker parakeets, Rose-ringed parakeets, Japanese nightingales, Florida redbelly turtles or mosquitofishes, which have an invasive behaviour.
The City Council carries out conservation programmes for the city wildlife. It also manages species and promotes the creation of habitats, while managing local services according to the diversity of species to be preserved. Managing species has helped positively to conservation (birds in building, herons, falcons, amphibians) and habitats have been created or restored with a successful colonisation (reefs, gardens, Vallvidrera, among others).
- Monitoring amphibian populations in ponds from parks and gardens, and supporting them through proper management of habitats
- Annual Census of bird species within the city
- Supporting birds in buildings by intervening in their rehabilitation
- Promoting the creation of habitats
- Monitoring exotic plants and animals that may be invasive
- Monitoring and supporting the peregrine falcons population
- Supporting non-captive wildlife at the ZOO: herons, cattle egrets, little egrets, jackdaws, hedgehogs, amphibians, butterflies