Gran Paradiso National Park

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Gran Paradiso National Park
Parco nazionale del Gran Paradiso
Parc national du Grand-Paradis
Summit of the eponymous Gran Paradiso
Summit of the eponymous Gran Paradiso
Gran Paradiso National Park (Italy)
Paris plan pointer b jms.svg
Coordinates: 45 ° 32 '55.2 "  N , 7 ° 19' 10.7"  E
Location: Aosta Valley , Turin , Italy
Next city: Aosta , Cuorgnè
Surface: 703.18 km²
Founding: 1922
Address: Duck Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso

Via della Rocca, 47
10123 Torino (TO)

Alpine ibex in the Aosta Valley
Alpine ibex in the Aosta Valley
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The Gran Paradiso National Park (Italian) or Parc national du Grand-Paradis (French) was established in 1922 as the first national park in Italy . It is located in the Aosta Valley and Piedmont regions and extends over an area of ​​70,318 hectares in the mountains of the Western Alps . In the west there is a shared border with the French Vanoise National Park over a length of about 14 km .

In this area, which was previously protected as a royal hunting reserve, the last colony of the Alpine ibex , which had otherwise been exterminated in the entire Alpine arc, survived - similar to the bison in the Polish Białowieża National Park .

In 2006 the Council of Europe awarded the Gran Paradiso National Park the European Diploma for Protected Areas .


The area of ​​the national park is in the western half of the Gran Paradiso massif , 52% in the Autonomous Region of Aosta Valley and 48% in the Piedmont region. In the middle of the national park is the summit of Gran Paradiso at 4061 meters above sea level, to the south of which is the Bivacco Ivrea refuge . The mountainous region includes altitudes of 800 meters above sea level up to 4,061 meters, 60% are at altitudes of 2,200 meters. Around 20% of the area is made up of lawns and alpine pastures or settlement areas, a further 20% are forests and the rest of the area consists of rock and debris as well as firn and glaciers.

Five mountain valleys shape the landscape: the Orco valley, the Soana valley, the Cognetal, the Valsavarenche and the Rhremestal.

The area of ​​the national park lies in the municipalities of Aymavilles , Cogne , Introd , Rhêmes-Notre-Dame , Rhêmes-Saint-Georges , Valsavarenche , Villeneuve in the Aosta Valley and Ceresole Reale , Locana , Noasca , Ribordone , Ronco Canavese and Valprato Soana in Piedmont.


The Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia-Piedmont Victor Emanuel II had a protected area for ibex hunting in the mountains of Champorcher and Cogne , which he had discovered in 1850 as a hunting area, and secured against poaching by a unit of around fifty game guards. In the high mountains there were several hunting lodges belonging to the king, such as the house at over 2500 meters above sea level in the valley of Cogne, which has been preserved as part of today's Vittorio Sella refuge in the center of the national park. When Victor Emanuel became the first king of united Italy in 1861, the former royal hunting reserve remained. The animal population was reserved for the royal hunt and was able to survive. The king had around 300 kilometers of mule tracks laid for the hunting parties to transport equipment, which later became hiking trails .

Under King Victor Emmanuel III. The last royal hunting party took place in 1913, and in 1919 the king gave part of the former hunting area at Grand Paradiso to the Italian government in 1920, which turned it into a nature reserve by royal decree of December 3, 1922. The park administration was now with the Commissione Reale del Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso ; since 1933 the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests was responsible for neglecting nature conservation. In 1947 the duck Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso was created.

Until the late 20th century, a conflict smoldered between the administration of the national park and residents of the localities in the region, who resisted the influence of the protective provisions on their economic activities. The settlements in the mountains have suffered from emigration since the Second World War.


In addition to the ibex, there are populations of various animal species in the national park. The chamois , marmot, brown bear, wolf, lynx, bearded vulture, eagle and ptarmigan are some of the more important species in the region.

While around 6,000 ibex were observed in the nature park in the 1990s, their number has decreased continuously since then. By 2010 there were fewer than 2,500 animals. The reason for the decline in the population is an increased youth mortality, around 75% of the fawns do not survive the first year of life. The reproduction rate should not have decreased compared to before. The cause of the high mortality among young animals could not yet be finally clarified at the 26th ibex symposium in Heiligenblut am Großglockner . One thesis attributes the development to the consequences of climate change : the rising temperatures would dry up the grasses in the high Alps more quickly and are lower in protein. It was also suspected that the fodder plants were poisoned by airplane exhaust fumes.


The 19 refuges in the area include:

In the former royal hunting lodges and over ten other facilities in the valleys there are visitor centers and exhibitions of the national park.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Cogne - Refuge Vittorio Sella, accessed on August 19, 2020.
  2. Christina Waiting: The King of Gran Paradiso., accessed on August 19, 2020.
  3. Capricorn mass extinction in Italy . The August 2, 2010 standard.
  4. The young ibex die in the Italian mountains . Neue Zürcher Zeitung from August 2, 2010.