A mountainous area along the border with France. The site has extensive Fagus and Abies forests, including the largest Fagus forest in Spain. The main human activities are forestry, livestock-farming and hunting.
The site is very important for forest species. In particular it holds 90% of the Iberian population of Dendrocopos leucotos as well as breeding Dryocopus martius. The site is a major migratory bottleneck, where more than 20,000 cranes and more than 3,000 raptors regularly pass in autumn, including Pernis apivorus (mean 5,235 per season), Milvus milvus (mean 2,072 per season) and Grus grus (maximum 20,100).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The most important threats relate to the deleterious impact of intensive forestry and logging. There have been several studies on the effects of forestry activities on species of woodpecker. There are management plans for all protected sites.
National Low International Partial232 ha of IBA covered by Wild Fauna Reserve (Arrollandieta, 232 ha). 64 ha of IBA covered by Integral Nature Reserve (Lizardoya, 64 ha). 119 ha of IBA covered by Natural Reserve (Mendilaz, 119 ha). 56 ha of IBA covered by Natural Reserve (Tristuibartea, 56 ha). 18,684 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Selva de Irati-Roncesvalles, 18,684 ha).