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Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi

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Protected Area

Identity Card

  • Further managed Protected Areas:
    • SIC e ZPS Dolomiti Feltrine e Bellunesi
    • ZPS Versante Sud delle Dolomiti Feltrine

The Park consists of different environments and cultures. There are many differences between the country wards situated on the slopes looking over the Valley of the Piave (in the areas of Feltre and Belluno) and the villages lying in the valleys of Agordo and Zoldo, since they are situated on slopes with completely different climatic and geological features.

 

 
Prati di Salet and Mt. Coro
La Stua Spring

General Features

The most interesting areas from a naturalistic point of view are mainly situated at the highest altitudes, in the plateaus, in the "buse" of glacial origin, but also in the bottom of the valleys and at the busiest entrances. The great variety of environmental aspects and of landscapes is the most relevant feature especially in summer, when the Park is rich in very colorful blooming. The western area of the Park, that of the real summits (the "Vette"), is characterized by peaks covered with grass (the most famous one is Mt. Pavione pyramid, 2.335 m) and by wide strata of detritus, glacial cirques, and karst basins. You can reach this area directly from the hills (Croce d'Aune, Col dei Mich, Val di San Martin) through steep paths which go round rugged but interesting slopes whose landscapes remind of the harsh Pre-Alps. The Cimonega subgroup is more similar to the Dolomites, and its highest peak is the Sass de Mura (2.550 m). The main gateway to this area is the deep Valle di Canzoi, from which you can reach the plateaus of Erera-Brendol and Piani Eterni in the very eastern part of the Alpi Feltrine. Dolomitic and pre-alpine features perfectly melt in the subgroups of Pizzocco and Agnelezze.
The Monti del Sole (on both slopes, Mis and Cordevole) represent the wild heart of the Park, being a superb and almost inaccessible sanctuary where natural forces rule over every human attempt to master them. Starting from the lowest altitudes, deep ravines, ducts made by detritus, small waterfalls, steep ridges and rock spikes, and crags covered by woods, shape a really suggestive landscape which is very similar to that of the most eastern areas of the Alps.
On the Belluno slope, you can admire both huge Dolomitic walls (Burel della Schiara), and peaks covered with grass (Monte Serva). The beautiful forest in the basin of Cajada and the grass-rock formations of the Talvena mountain chain are remarkable too. The cool slopes of the valley of Zoldo are typical of the inner Dolomites (Val Pramper and Grisol) and they are very different from the harsh and precipitous slopes that can be seen travelling up the Valley of Piave between Ponte nelle Alpi and Longarone.
Within the Park there are also two artificial lakes, the Mis and La Stua in Val Canzoi.

Chamois

Fauna

Mammals

the most relevant species are the ungulates among which we must mention the chamois (the Park's herd is of about 2.000 specimens), the roe deer, and the deer, whose number is at the moment increasing.
The presence of the mouflon, which has been set free in Val Scura and which has found here its ideal habitat (its herd has rapidly grown), has been criticized. All the remaining typical species of the Alpine and Dolomitic fauna are signalled, but unfortunately there are no precise data concerning their real number. Among them: Alpine hares, foxes, badgers, ermines, weasels, martens, beech-martens, squirrels, hedgehogs, etc.
The presence of micromammals is also interesting.

Birds

The avifauna is well-known. Among the most interesting environments from this point of view, there are the hills lying outside the Park, where the economy is still based on a traditional agriculture, and the wetlands at the bottom of the valleys, in particular along the river Piave.
The day and nocturnal birds of prey are quite common. The golden eagle, for instance, can be found within the Park, especially in the most protected niches in the walls of the mountains: here, almost five couples have their nest.
A special role is played by the tetraonids (capercaillie, black grouse, hazel grouse, and ptarmigan) and by the rock partridge: they are all precious species and most of them risk to disappear. As a consequence, the Park has the important task to preserve this heritage.

Other vertebrates

Although there are not many damp areas within the Park, the herpetologic fauna is quite common.
Black salamanders, frogs, and newts can be found also at high altitude.
The excursionist should not be scared by the presence of vipers if he takes precautions and if he is aware that they do not attack man unless they are provoked. Often vipers are mistaken with other colubrids which are more or less common (the smooth snake, the western whip snake, the Aesculapian snake, the ringed-snakes).
Due to the programmes of reintroduction by the local fishers, the presence of species of fish is not so relevant.

Invertebrates

This is a field of high scientific interest. However, this does not mean it cannot be appreciated by excursionists.
Various groups are not yet known or they have not been studied in detail. On the contrary, we have detailed information about the preglacial molluscs and, in the category of insects, about the Carabid coleopters living in caves and in hypogean environments. There are also exclusive endemic species such as Orotrechus pavionis, O. theresiae, Neobathyscia dalpiazi, Leptusa pascuorum pavionis and other species which are still being studied. The information, although incomplete, show and confirm the exceptional biological and geographical value of the protected area.

More informations

Edelweiss
Sempervivum dolomiticum

Vegetation

The vegetation, which has been only recently described and studied, is also very interesting. It varies according to the different altitudes.

Central European

Broadleaf woods of hornbeams and oaks. They are common in the sunny biotopes up to 1000 - 1200 meters, often habitats which have been transformed by human activities. Particularly interesting are the primitive biotopes of the cliffs or of the dry slopes.

Subatlantic

Large beech woods, sometimes mixed with conifers. The silver fir is present in remarkable populations only in some areas (Caiada, Val del Grisol). In dry habitats with steep slopes we can find beautiful pinewoods of both Scotch and black pine (the latter reaches the Valle del Mis and the Val Scura as the extreme western extensions of its Illyrian-like distribution area). The dry mountain meadows, which have replaced the original woods on the southern slopes, are also very interesting since they are rich in rare species.

Northern

The conifer woods (with mainly spruce fir) often have an anthropic origin. At higher altitudes, beechwoods are replaced by mugo pinewoods. The slopes which are more influenced by the oceanic climate lack a real area of firwoods. At higher altitudes it is possible to find often sub-alpine shrubs, mugo pinewoods covering wide regions at lower altitudes, willow groves, and alder woods with green alder trees.

Alpine

This is the most interesting area from a botanical point of view, since it is characterized by various kinds of vegetal communities (blue moor-grasses, French lavenders, fescue meadows, and sedge fields). Some endemic vegetal communities have been described here for the first time, such as the Saxifragetum burseranae and the Campanuletum morettianae, which have been found on the cliffs. There are, of course, other important aspects, such as the Silene veselskyi clusters which are found in the winding ravines where they find shelter from the heavy rain. There is a good literature available on the other habitats, such as small glacial valleys and crest debris, situated at high altitudes. Wetlands and springs are very important but very rare too. The shores of the rivers are rich in interesting species which are not peculiar to the Alps anymore.

Van de Zita

Geology


The Park is one of the most various and interesting territories from a structural and stratigraphical point of view, and for this reason the southern part of Dolomites has been the training ground for many geologists

Great part of the territory lies on rocks of sedimentary origin, but there are some exceptions, like in upper Valle del Mis and in Valle Imperina, where at the "Linea della Valsugana" (an important fault representing the geological border of the Dolomites), ancient rocks of metamorphic origin emerge.
Today in the Park we can admire large meadow basins, deep and wide valleys, large and sunny mountain faces, but also dark ravines dripping of water, rocks overhanging gloomy gorges, solitary and deep narrow valleys, and rough plateaus where the karst nature has given origin to a subterranean landscape made of pits, fissures, caves, galleries, and abysses penetrating the bowels of the earth.
The geological variety therefore implies a mosaic of morphological landscapes, often with distinctive and unique features, like high-mountain karst-nival environments shaped by the glaciers, and subsequently by snow and karst phenomena.

History

The Park covers mainly an area of middle-high altitudes with few inhabitants. Nevertheless, there are many traces left by man and witnessing his presence.
The D.P.R. according to which the Park Authority was created also extended the boundaries of the Park in order to include two precious historical sites. The Certosa di Vedana, situated near the homonymous lake in the Town of Sospirolo, is an extraordinary architectural site which needs restoration. Another extraordinary site is that of the former mines of Valle Imperina, in the Town of Rivamonte where the restoration activities have already started in the attempt to partially recover these mines which for centuries have marked the economy and the landscape of the Agordino region.

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