Maiella National Park

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Parco Nazionale della Majella
IUCN category II (national park)
La Maiella vista dal versante ovest - panoramio.jpg
Majella Massif
Map showing the location of Parco Nazionale della Majella
Map showing the location of Parco Nazionale della Majella
Maiella
Location of the park
Location Abruzzo
Nearest city Sulmona
Coordinates 42°4′55″N 14°3′36″E / 42.08194°N 14.06000°E / 42.08194; 14.06000Coordinates: 42°4′55″N 14°3′36″E / 42.08194°N 14.06000°E / 42.08194; 14.06000
Area 628.38 km2 (242.62 sq mi)
Established 1991
Governing body Ministero dell'Ambiente
www.parks.it/parco.nazionale.majella/Eindex.html

The Majella National Park (Italian: Parco Nazionale della Majella) is a national park located in the provinces of Chieti, Pescara and L'Aquila, in the region Abruzzo, Italy.

It is centered on the Majella massif, whose highest peak is Monte Amaro (2,793 m).

The area of the Majella national Park (740.95 km²), especially the Montagna della Majella, has been subject to a major international geoscientific research Project, TaskForceMajella from 1998 up to 2005.

Main sights[edit]

The park contains about 500 kilometres of hiking trails through the mountains, cave paintings in Grotta Sant'Angelo and Grotta del Cavallone (the latter being one of the deepest caves in Europe open to the public).

Tourist centers located in the park include:

Wildlife[edit]

The Majella National park is maybe one of the best preserved apennine ecosystems. Due to its highness, inaccessibility and prominence most of the park's territories are uninhabited and so the human-made structures, including skiing resorts and roads, are fewer than those in other national parks of Italy. This condition favored the apennine wildlife which is shown here in all its greatness. The most representative animal of the Majella territories is the Apennine wolf which is also present in the park's logo and it relies on a population of 70 estimated wolves distributed in eleven packs across the main mountain ranges of the protected area. It is believed that the wolf population density of the Majella national park is one of the highest in Italy and in the world even if compared to Yellowstone national park.

Notable also the presence of species of the following animals:

  • In the high slopes the Abruzzo chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica ornata) which has been reintroduced, after decades of absence, during 1991 thanks to a repopulation program carried up by the Abruzzo national park authorities;
  • The marsican brown bear (ursus arctos marsicanus) is regularly present in the national park's beech forests with at least 5 individuals representing the second biggest concentration of bears in one protected area of Central Italy;
  • The Golden eagle, with six breeding couples;
  • The red and roe deer which have also been reintroduced in the park after the WWII, when they were extinct throughout the Central Apennines.

The amphibians and reptiles that live in this mountainous landscape are the spectacled salamander, the yellow-billed toad and the unique Orsini's viper.

Also goshawk, buzzard, rock partridge, alpine and red-billed chough, peregrine falcon and sparrow hawk are some important bird species that breed inside the park.

Finally other mammals that thrive in the dense forests that surround the majella massif are the wild boar, the Italian hare, the pine marten, the wild cat, the red fox, the european badger and the rare otter.

References[edit]

External links[edit]