Sirente Velino Regional Park


The Sirente Velino area falls under the protection of the Sirente Velino Regional Park. The Park was set up under Regional Law 54/1989 of the Abruzzo regional government, then further amended under Regional Law 23/2000.

The Park's area covers about 55,000 hectares, ranging from 600 to 2,500 m. above sea level, with its highest peaks being Mt. Velino (2486 m) and Mt. Sirente (2348 m). Rivers and lakes result from the Karst formation of the area. The open areas, mainly pasture land, cover about 59%, while about 24% is forest. This includes beech forests (7.44 %), mixed hardwood forests (15.19%) mainly made up of Roverella, Carpino and Orniello and the remaining 1.1 % of black pine forests. The remaining approx. 17% consists of rocky areas (1.4 %), agricultural areas (14.68%) and urban areas (0.95%). Many types of habitats can also be found in the park, many included in Annex I of the Directive 92/43/EC.

The park overlaps with ZPS IT7100130 and includes the Velino-Sirente mountains, with its ranges and isolated mountains, Karst plateaus, wide valleys and gorges forming a spectacular landscape. As well as many different habitats, this important environmental area, is also home to a wide range of birdlife, and large mammals, such as the Marsicanus brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus) and the Apennine wolf (Canis lupus), evidence of the highly complex eco-systems that can still be found in the area. Other important flora and fauna species include: for vegetation - Astragalus auilanus, Goniolimn italicum; for amphibians and reptiles - Bombina pachipus, Triturus carnifex, Salamandrina terdigidata, Vipera ursiniii, Elaphe quatoprlineata; for birds - Aquila chrysaetos, Falco biarmicus, Gyps fulvus, Falco peregrinus, Alectoris greca saxatilis, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, Bubo, bubo; and for mammals - Chionomys nivalis, Hystrix cristata, Felis silvestris.

The Sirente Velino Regional Park is idividuated in the National Action Plan for Apennine chamois conservation as among the most ideal areas for hosting new colonies. Among actions already carried out in the Park, there is the setting up of a Chamois Wildlife Area in the Rocca di Mezzo Municipality, which is home to a chamois pair to be used in ex situ conservation, and also a demographic reservoir to be drawn on, as well as other actions involving awareness-raising of the importance of the species conservation.