In the high slopes of the Andorran Pyrenees, as in other mountain regions, climate change has already begun to alter the landscape. Some species are moving to higher latitudes, and some have begun to decline. The ways humans use the land also causes shifts in the natural order of things, but little research has been done on how people have impacted this particular place. Questions of how climate change and human encroachment continue to alter this alpine world need answers as local organizations work towards sustainable solutions.
While trekking through this striking landscape, you’ll be among the first to search for these answers. Not much is known about the amazing biodiversity of the forests and alpine meadows, and your team will help identify the key species in the ecosystem and how they are changing. You will weigh and measure small mammals, find boreal owls and other bird species by visiting their nest boxes and spotting them through binoculars. You will also study alpine flora, follow the growth of tree species, and detect bats. These tasks will help researchers find out how animals are faring, and how to best protect key species. Understanding the timing of such processes can help scientists learn if species’ life cycles are becoming out of sync with each other, which could have serious consequences for the health of this ecosystem.