Gran Paradiso, the climate crisis threatens the animals of the park

One hundred years is always a great achievement, even if the future begins to appear uncertain. If this euphemism certainly applies to a human being, today it also counts for the Gran Paradiso National Park due to the effects of climate change. Established on December 3, 1922 like first Italian national park, it is a world of biodiversity inestled in the splendid alpine setting.

Flying drone with camera

It is interesting to remember that this is an area that passed from a reserve established for hunting purposes of an animal species to a park established for reasons of protection of the same: the ibex – tells Bruno Bassanodirector of the Gran Paradiso National Park – and so many gamekeepers suddenly became parkkeepers”. In fact, in 1856 Vittorio Emanuele II declared the Gran Paradiso mountains a Royal Hunting Reserve, limiting hunting activity and saving the ibex from extinction, which in those years had seen its population decimated. This remained the case until 1913, when Vittorio Emanuele III decided to cede the territories of the Gran Paradiso owned by him to the State with the relative rights, so that a National Park could be established for the protection of the Alpine flora and fauna: which happened 9 years later .

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Today the Park has approx two million visitors a year and an 850-kilometre trail network along the over two thousand hectares of reserve. An area that also in 2021 (as in 2014 and 2017) was included in the Green List of the World Conservation of Nature Union (Iucn), worldwide certification that recognizes effectiveness and fairness in the management of natural areas. In short, one would say that it is a park that is more than healthy. But it is certainly not immune to the effects of global warming, the greatest threat to the existence of many species that live in this protected territory.

  1. Escape to the top
  2. Goodbye to arctic species?
  3. Fewer and fewer ibexes
  4. Countermeasures

Escape to the top

We noticed a upward passage of many animal species: Species like butterflies and birds do it more quickly, while insects, beetles and spiders do it much more slowly. But it is evident that species that lived around 1,500 meters in just twenty years have moved up to 2,000 meters”, says the director.

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