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Reintroduction of the Lamon sheep

(Tonadico, 15 Mar 13) In 2009 the Paneveggio Pale di San Martino Park, in order to preserve the Canali Valley's biodiversity - also including domestic animals - started a project to breed the "Lamon" sheep, a breed of sheep facing a risk of extinction.

Since ancient times this sheep has been bred in Trentino, in the area of Primiero and Vanoi, and near Belluno, in the municipalities of Lamon, Arsiè, Feltre, Fonzaso and Sovramonte: but husbandry innovations led shepherds to prefer more fruitful breeds which were less suitable for the environment.

One of the project's goals was to increase the number of breeders of this sheep which nowadays is still limited.

From this perspective the Park authority can play a very significant role for the spread of this sheep, also involving the local farmers willing to breed it.

Since the beginning this project has included particular and specific management modalities. The herd acquired by the Park has been entrusted to a farmer who also manages the meadows of the Welsperg Villa. In this way a connection between the projects aiming at making the Canali Valley a "biodiversity valley" is established.

"The farming modalities", says Piergiovanni Partel, Responsible for the Research Sector, "are planned to foster an appropriate reproduction activity. As far as the feeding is concerned, the forage from the meadows of the Canali Valley is mainly used: only when strictly necessary for the proper feeding of the sheep other products are used. Moreover, the farming modalities also guarantee high standards as far as the animals' well-being is concerned".

In fall 2009, when the project started, the small herd was composed by three animals, two females and one male from the "A. Della Lucia Institute" in Feltre, which is also a project partner.

Today there are 13 animals, 7 adult females, 1 adult male and 5 lambs.

In the fine weather the herd will leave the valley bottom to go back to the rural structures of the "Stala Nova", very near the small Welsperg Lake.

Beyond its high value from the conservation perspective, the project also concerns other aspects, such as the didactics, the promotion and enhancement of the typical food products and the launch of a little wool production chain.

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