The Reserve of the Mountain Velino
The Directed Natural Reserve "Mountain Velino" was founded on 21.07.1987 with a Decree of the Office of the Environment and thanks to the wish of the interested Communities of Magliano dei Marsi and Massa d’Albe and of the Forest Authorities of the State, for the protection of the natural environment and the unique geo-morphological phenomena.
The reserve extends around 3.500 hectares in a zone of the central Appennins towards the northern borders of the plain and includes the mountainous group of Velino, the third highest of the whole Appennins with its 2.486 ms., defined geographically by the two main valleys, Teve and Majelama, where the signs left by the ancient glaciers that have dug it and that have deeply shaped the whole territory are easily verifiable.
The Reserve was born in order to protect directly this territory and above all the Royal Eagle, still present on this mountain, but strongly threatened by misuse of the territory and an inconsiderate presence of excursionists. With the Reserve this magnificent bird of prey was able to return to the necessary calm for the breeding of the small ones, to the point that it has always nested since then successfully. Contributing to the increase of the population on the whole Appennins of Abruzzi.
Obviously a greater calm was good for the rich fauna, above all of birds. Since then, the Forest Authorities of the State have contributed to enrich it. Planned operations have brought the reproduction of animals which were going to disappear like the Imperial Crow, the buck and royal griffon that has become in the last years the most well-known and numerous animal to see.
Inside the Reserve some paths (Valle Majelama, Valle Genzana, Val of Teve, Mountain Cafornia, (southern slopes of the Mountain Velino) are kept closed for five months a year, from February to August, to protect the nest-building of the eagle and the griffon. It is forbidden to go out of the paths, and particularly to cross the "ghiaioni" (large slopes with pebbles) not to damage some pioneer plants.
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