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Fauna – The Majella

The intrusive and destructive actions of man over thousands of years caused the complete annihilation of large wild herbivores from the area of the Majella. Other prized animals became increasingly rare and confined to smaller and smaller areas. The last chamois of the Majella was killed in the 19th century together with the last specimens of roe deer and red deer. Bears were reduced to a few examples which managed to live in precarious conditions in the most impenetrable forests.

The same happened to the otter. The otter is only found in the Majella: the Park is the last refuge in the whole of European Mediterranean Region, including the Alps. Only wolves escaped the same fate due to the abundance of pray (especially sheep) and their greater ability to adapt to changing conditions. Thanks to a greater awareness of the importance of wildlife conservation (also among the people of the area), the considerable efforts of the State Forestry Commission, the Abruzzo National Park, WWF Italy, the Italian Alpine Club, and several communes Lama dei Peligni, Palombaro, Fara San Martino, San’t Eufemia a Majella and to the action to protect the Park, the situation has radically changed.

Today, about 500 red deer and 600 roe deer populate the wooded areas and glades of the Park. The Abruzzo chamois has returned to its position as undisputed prince of the peaks and high plains, with about 300 examples, which reproduce normally. There are about 1 520 Marsican Brown Bears present in all parts of the Park.

The Apennine Wolf, (with 6-7 pack flock), has forgotten the waste dumps and returned to its old habits of hunting the abundant natural prey. The otter, the most elusive animal of the Majella National Park, has been spotted in the waters of the Orfento and the Orta River.

The great harsh calcareous gorges which are typical of the Majella make am ideal refuge for the Golden Eagle, chough, alpine chough, wall creeper, peregrine falcon and the rare lanner. Up on the high altitude plains and pine woods, in contact with the loftiness of infinity, live the rare Orsini Viper, the Alpine Chaffinch, the Alpine Accentor and the Snow Vole, among many others.

Like a multicolored painting, the Majella is deched with the colours of the many species of butterfly and moth to be found here. There are 116 out of the 131 Italian species of butterfly present, as well as 700 species of moth. There are also many insects which can only be found in the Park, or example the beetle Polydrusus Lucianae, and the grasshopper Italopodisma Licianae, present in the plains at high altitude.


Majella National Park – Flora

Majella National Park – Geomorphology

Majella National Park – History

Walking Holidays – Majella

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