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THE ADAMELLO-BRENTA NATURE RESERVE
THE FLORA

This is Trentino’s largest protected area, covering 618 square kilometres and comprising two very different geological areas: the Dolomite group and the Adamello-Presanella granite massif with its numerous glaciers. The natural environment of the reserve is typical for the southern side of the Alpine arc, with magnificent broad-leaved woods containing sycamore, wild cherry, beech trees and coniferous forests with stone and silver pine, fir, spruce and larch. They cover the mountain sides reaching upwards to the timber line, which here lies at around 1900 metres altitude, beyond which for a further 200 metres elevation forests yield to Alpine meadows and rock vegetation. Mugo pines, alpine rhododendrons, alpine azaleas, mountain willows and other low-growing shrubs are examples of the marvellous ability of plant life to adapt to the tough conditions and climate at high altitude. The extraordinary diversity of flora in this area can only be matched by very few other places in the Alpine arc. In our case this diversity is favoured, among other factors, by the two completely differing environments, one dolomitic, the other granitic.
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THE FAUNA

The extraordinary intactness of the park’s environment is manifested in the exceptionally rich variety of fauna which includes rare examples found exclusively in the Alps. Among the myriad of species which populate the park the Alpine brown bear is worthy of special mention. Several specimens have survived in the park and a repopulating programme has begun, though sightings are of course rare. animalettoIt is far easier to encounter other animals, beginning with large herbivores such as chamois, the sure-footed, agile goat antelopes which populate the upper regions, as well as deer and roebucks which prefer lower altitudes. Among rodents red squirrels are common in coniferous woods, while marmots are found above the tree line, where they dig their burrows among the rocks and meagre vegetation. Predators include foxes, badgers, stoats and weasels, pine martens and stone martens. Bird life is also abundant including francolin partridges with their unmistakable brown and greyish plumage, woodcocks and capercaillies. The latter are noted for the spectacular show the cocks put on to attract hens during the mating season. Then there are ptarmigans, which inhabit the rocky regions above 2000 metres elevation and Greek partridges, typical of the green pastures on the lower slopes. Birds of prey include the golden eagle and the bearded vulture, also known as the lammergeyer. The latter has been reintroduced to the Alps (the last one was shot in 1913) thanks to a WWF project and occasionally frequents the Brenta Dolomites.
Other diurnal birds of prey which nest in the park include buzzards, sparrow-hawks, goshawks, falcons, kestrels, while nocturnal birds of prey include tawny owls, eagle and long-eared owls, big and little owls. The streams and numerous lakes in the park are home to many species of fish, notably char and trout which are fundamental elements in the food chain for many small vertebrates and invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians.
The park is therefore an ecological oasis in which holiday guests can immerse themselves to live in perfect harmony with nature. The best way to become acquainted with and enjoy the park is an on foot, on horseback or mountain bike along the Algone and Ambiez valleys which are the principle approach routes to the park from the south and east respectively for visitors staying at the Terme di Comano spa and in the Nature Villages.
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