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Gran Paradiso National Park is the oldest national park in Italy. The park is located on the border of Piedmont and Valle d ’ Aosta, in the mountainous areas around the peak of Gran Paradiso.
At the beginning of the 19th century, due to sport hunting and for medicinal purposes, the species was practically exterminated alpine mountain goats, and only the area in Gran Paradiso remained their place of residence. In connection with the alarming decline in the number of mountain goats by Victor Emmanuel II, the area around the peak of Gran Paradiso was declared a hunting reserve in 1856.
In 1922, the first national park in the country was founded by Victor Emmanuel III ... At that time, there were already about 4 thousand mountain goats in the reserve, but due to poaching, by 1945 there were about 400 representatives of the species. Nowadays, thanks to enhanced security measures, the number of individuals has increased again and today it is about 4 thousand.
Two main types of forest in the reserve – deciduous and coniferous forests. The most common in deciduous forests is European beech, the leaves of which take a long time to decompose, thereby forming a thick layer on the ground, which prevents the development of other trees and plants. In the lower part of the valley, larches are most common, which are often mixed with spruce, fir and Swiss pines.
In more elevated areas, trees are much less common. There are also many rocky areas in the park where you can find such plants, like hotpots, wild pansies, rhododendrons, lilies and others. There is a botanical garden on the territory of the park, in which about 1500 species of plants grow.
The fauna of the reserve is also quite rich. In the summer, mountain goats are often found in elevated mountain areas, in winter they descend lower. Also in the park you can find such representatives of the fauna as the ferret, hare, ermine, mountain chamois, Eurasian badger and others.
More than 100 species of birds also live in the reserve. Here you can observe the Eurasian eagle owl, partridge, chough, alpine accentor and others.
The reserve is connected with Switzerland and France by high-speed highways. Restaurants and hotels are located near the borders of the park. Shelters, campgrounds and mountain huts are also available throughout the year.
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Topic: Gran Paradiso National Park in Italy.