Majella National Park


This wide and calcareous massif with Morrone, Porrara and Pizzi Mountains, the Valleys and the carsic plateaux represent a National Park that, since its geographic position - completely dipped into the Mediterranean Sea - roughness, size, harshness, its climatic changeableness and the impressiveness (more than 60 mountains, 30 of which exceed 2.000 meters, among which Monte Amaro, 2793 metri, second Apennine peak) is surely unique of its kind. Majella National Park encloses wide lands with peculiar aspects that usually feature the wilerness areas, the most precious part of national and international biodiversity heritage.

The contiguity with “Gran Sasso-Laga Mountains” and “Sirente-Velino” National Parks gives this Park the highest ecologic value, connected with critical needs of the most rare and threatened animal species in search of ecological undamaged zones.

The 2114 vegetal species classified in the Park territory are distributed in more than 50 different habitats, and placed in the various altitudinal zones. The peculiarity of the habitat is embodied mainly by the considerable number of endemism, more than 142 vegetal species, in great measure gathered in the culmination zones.

Under the culmination zones there is the twisted shrubs belt such as the “Mugo” Pine which represents the most widespread vegetal formation in the Apennines. Between 1800 and 800 meters grow beech groves mixed with lawns and pastures. These are the ideal habitats for the wild ungulates and predators such as the bear and the wolf. Until 1700-1800 meters, the beech wood is typical of the forest landscape, often associated with Yews, Hollies, mountain Ashes, Maples and several fruit-bearing species. The floristic heritage of this vegetable formation increases in value thanks to precious species as in the case of the Lobel Maple, which reaches on Majella its most northern location.

The millenary and intrusive action of the man caused the complete extinction of wild herbivores in Majella and the extreme rarefaction of the most valuable fauna in the Park. The last specimen of Chamois in the massif has been shot in ‘800, likewise the roe and the deer. The Bear, reduced to few specimens, survived in precarious conditions in the most impenetrable forests, like the Otter. Only the Wolf, especially because of the plenty of flocks and its higher livability, survived the annihilation. The Marsican Brown Bear, with about 15/20 units, has been sighted in every corner of the Park. The Apennine Wolf (about 30 specimens) given the plenty of natural preys, forgot the dumps and came back to the ancient predatory habits.

Different bird species nest in the Park such as Golden Eagle, Lanner, Dotterel.

Amphibians species of high conservation value are the Apennine Salamander, Spectacled Salamander and among reptiles the Orsini Viper