Interpretation and Reproduction Centre of the Mediterranean Tortoise in the Llaberia Mountain Range
You can visit the Interpretation and Reproduction Centre of the Mediterranean Tortoise located in Marçà, in the Llaberia Mountain range. This is an interesting idea to complete your nature stay in the Terres de l’Ebre region. The Centre, which has a panoramic viewpoint, is also ideal for observing the landscape in Priorat and Ribera d’Ebre.
The Mediterranean tortoise conservation plan started almost 10 years ago. Marçà Town Hall carried out a study of a turtle population which was found in the mountains in this region. Once it was confirmed that this was the Mediterranean tortoise (the only species of tortoise native to Catalonia) two different types of work began. The first was to improve their habitat, and the other, to create the Interpretation Centre. To be able to put this conservation plan into action they received the support of Sierra de Llaberia Association, the Centre for the Recovery of Amphibians and Reptiles in Catalonia, Rural Police Officers and specialists from the Government of Catalonia Directorate General for the Environment and Biodiversity.
The Marçà Interpretation and Reproduction Centre of the Mediterranean Tortoise was opened in 2010, and also includes a panoramic viewpoint of the LLaberia Mountains. This centre is located on Miloquera hill, near the village. All facilities and land belong to Marçà town hall and this is so due to a donation made by sculptors Marçà Giné and Lula Pérez, now deceased, who originated from the village itself. At the Interpretation Centre you can see examples of Mediterranean tortoises at different stages of their life, as well as a couple of exotic tortoises. Environmental educational activities are often carried out here with schoolchildren.
The panoramic viewpoint is an excellent place for watching birds in flight, and it is common to see short-toed eagles. On the short walk from to Miloquera hill you will also see reptiles such as the ocellated lizard, snakes and Iberian wall lizards.
One of the Centre’s roles is to reproduce and breed Mediterranean tortoises in captivity and then set them free in the countryside. This is hard work but it is worth the effort. This spring the first tortoises born and bred in captivity, were set free.
We invite you to visit this Centre and discover this corner of Priorat. The Centre is open on weekends from 10.00 to 13.00 between Easter and 12th October. You can also visit during the week but this must be arranged with Marçà Town Hall. You will find more information on this area of natural interest, the Sierra de Llaberia, on the website www.serrallaberia.cat