Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park

The Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park is located in the central-eastern Apennines, and covers 150,000 hectares in the Abruzzi, Lazio and Marche regions, although most of its territory is in the Abruzzi Region.
The northernmost portion of the Park is characterised by Monti della Laga, a  sandstone and marlstone mountain chain. This is the greenest and most densely wooded area of the Park, featuring rounded elevations, deep valleys and many streams, which often originate evocative waterfalls. Chestnut, oak, silver fir and small birch woods grow here; between 1,000 and 1,800 metres, there are vast beech woods.
Monti Gemelli and the Gran Sasso mountain range dominate instead the southern portion of the Park. These carbonate rock mountains look rough and alpine-like, with imposing and savage rock faces that make them unique throughout the Apennines and provide nesting places for golden eagles, peregrine and lanner falcons and eagle-owls. Corno Grande (2.912 m) stands out as the highest peak in the Apennines.
Noticeable traces of karst phenomena and of the presence of glaciers in the past can be seen almost everywhere in the Park; the last of them is the almost disappeared Calderone glacier.
The highest peaks guard many of the most interesting species of the Park’s flora, which is exceptionally rich: over 2,000 species, including endemic and ice age relict taxa from the North and East. High altitudes are also inhabited by small snow voles, rare Ursini's viper, and many bird species such as snowfinches, rock partridges, rock thrushes, Alpine and red-billed choughs.
Rare mammals, like wolves, bears, chamois and wildcats live in this vast and intact territory.
The landscape is completed by evocative villages, castles, and abbeys, which, together with a rich variety of local foods, make this territory extremely interesting in every respect.

Gran Sasso-Laga Park and poison
In the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, the use of poison is little widespread, even though social and environmental conditions are definitely at risk (wolves live in the area, agriculture and livestock farming are very widespread, truffle hunting is very common). The Park looks like an island of happiness if compared with surrounding Apennine areas, where poisoning cases are sporadic but fairly frequent and also involve protected species such as wolves and griffon vultures.
In the last ten years, only one poisoning case has been reported within the Park (in December 2014), whereas other cases, mainly concerning house animals, have been reported in areas at its border.
This favourable situation results from the Park Authority’s long-standing management policy,  aimed at negotiation among relevant categories, in order to fulfil as much as possible the needs of farmers and breeders and facilitate their coexistence with problematic species.
Coex and EXTRA, two LIFE projects carried out in the past, contributed to the development of this management model.
The Park’s action has been focused on encouraging the use of traditional and electric fences as well as of guard dogs, promoting training of expert staff on techniques to prevent and analyse predation damages, and involving relevant categories in the discussion.
The LIFE ANTIDOTO Project and the activity of Anti-poison dog units ( were consistent with this background: they made new tools available to prevent the use of poison and mitigate its impact on the animals, but they also provided an opportunity to effectively sensitise the local population on the use of poison.
LIFE PLUTO Project’s envisaged actions will make it possible to strengthen collaboration with livestock farms (mainly thanks to the establishment of a feeding station for birds of prey) and to continue with sensitisation campaigns.
The dog units established in the framework of ANTIDOTO will carry on with their territorial monitoring thanks to an ad hoc contribution by the Ministry of Environment, and they will be able to help surrounding areas, too, supporting the new Anti-poison Dog Units of the State Forestry Corps that will work within the LIFE PLUTO Project.

  • Immagine 1
  • Gran Sasso d'Italia
  • Immagine 2
  • La piana di Campo Imperatore
  • Immagine 3
  • Aster alpinus
  • Immagine 4
  • View from Rocca Calascio
  • Immagine 5
  • Immagine 6
  • Griffon vulture
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