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Vol 13 (2020): Spring

Status of Lutra lutra in the Alpine region.
Proceedings of the I Congress of the Eurasian otters in the Alps: towards a common strategy across boundaries, Gran Paradiso National Park Valsavarenche, (AO, Italy), 10-12 October 2018.

Photo credits: Caterina Ferrari


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Vol 11 (2018): Autumn

The bats of Gran Paradiso National Park

Photo credits: Paolo Debernardi


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Vol 10 (2017): Autumn

Cover Photo: Vipera comune (Vipera aspis) con colorazione melanica - Val Soana

Dario Rigaldo, Gran Paradiso National Park


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Vol 9 (2013): Autumn

The Dres is one of the alpine lakes in the Gran Paradiso National Park (GPNP) in which alien fish species have been introduced before it became part of the Park. An ambitious eradication program within the EU financed LIFE+ project  BIOAQUAE (Biodiversity Improvement of Aquatic Alpine Ecosystems) is attempting to reestablish the natural equilibria of this and other three lakes in the GPNP.  Tiberti, Acerbi and Iacobuzio report on the capture techniques used in this project  (pages 64-71 of this issue). Photo: Paolo Gislimberti


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Vol 7 (2003): Autumn


The Journal of Mountain Ecology is glad to publish the proceedings of the Second Conference of the Italian Society for Eco-pathology of Wildlife (SIEF). The main reasons for this event are to be searched partially in the themes included in these proceedings, and partially in the long tradition of the Gran Paradiso National Park (GPNP) in the study of wildlife pathology. These proceedings include some important contributions to the knowledge of the sanitary condition and the ecology of mountain wildlife, both in the Alps and in the Apennines. Of particular interest is the effort to develop ecological and mathematical models for the prediction of the effects of pathologies, particularly virus infections – Swine pest -, bacterial infections – micobacteriosis, brucellosis, paratuberculosis -, and macro-parasites – abomasal nematodes, coccidiosis – on the population dynamics of wildlife species. The eco-pathological approach is enforced by the presence of some ecological papers, focused on the climatic modifications of landscape and alpine vegetation and on the modifications of local biodiversity. These topics on wildlife pathology are of particular interest for the GPNP and, therefore, suitable for publication in the J.Mt.Ecol. The GPNP is interested in the study and monitoring of wildlife pathology since the end of the Second World War with the work of the late Prof. Videsott, veterinarian and director of the GPNP, and was then continued by Dr. Peracino, first Sanitary inspector of the GPNP. It is not the first time that the J.Mt.Ecol. dedicates space to papers on wildlife pathology, and we hope to have done a service to the national and international scientific community, in publishing these works. As the official conference language was Italian, most contribution to this supplement are in this language.

The Director of GPNP
Michele Ottino


The health of wildlife populations is catalysing a growing interest by people, the scientific community and policy makers. Increasing human activities caused an intermingling of wildlife, domestic animals and human populations. At the same time change in land utilisation and loss of biodiversity are strongly enhanced. In such a situation infectious and non-infectious wildlife diseases are recognised to play a relevant role for both conservation and public health. Nowadays wildlife medicine cannot be restricted only to research groups or to “naive” interests of few individuals, neither wildlife management can be drive only by emotional approaches. A robust scientific background is largely needed. Because of the complexity and multifaceted aspects of the sanitary problems in free ranging populations, the ecology of wildlife diseases arises as a key factor in any of the possible epidemiological scenarios. This achievement is the basic step for addressing any further strategies for a sustainable management, focused not only on wild populations, but on entire ecosystems, that is the final goal of any action plan. This topic was the main framework of the II National meeting of the Società Italiana di Ecopatologia della Fauna (S.I.E.F.), and despite the congress was held in October 1998 we deemed important still to publish the proceedings. Initially the proceedings should have been published by the Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica “Alessandro Ghigi”, the national research and advisory agency for wildlife management in Italy. The administrative transition imposed to the Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica strongly delayed the publishing until we received the proposal of the Gran Paradiso National Park to have a special issue of the Journal of Mountain Ecology dedicated to the meeting. The value of this peer-reviewed journal in the field of wildlife conservation and management, convinced the SIEF to accept the proposal. We strongly believe that the on-line access will promote a wide diffusion of the data and concepts reported by all the authors. The interdisciplinary approach of the meeting was due to the believing that free-ranging wildlife diseases control and management are a very difficult goal that can be accomplished only with the skills of different professional figures. The meeting was financially supported by many Local and Central Authorities suggesting that administrative agencies were strongly interested into wildlife diseases and management. We want to thank all of them not only for the financial support, but also for their trust on our policy. We are particularly grateful to Provincia di Sondrio, Comunità Montana Alta Valtellina, Comune di Bormio, Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica and Centro di Ecologia Alpina. Last but not least we want to remember the presence at the meeting in Bormio of some internationally well known colleagues, two from north America and five from Europe. They gave us an up to date of the major trends in wildlife diseases study and management. To all of them our sincere thanks for giving us an international insight into the world of wildlife and earth health. We hope that the papers presented in these proceedings could be an useful tool for all the people involved in wildlife diseases research and management.

On behalf of the SIEF Scientific Board
Paolo Lanfranchi



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Vol 3 (1995): Autumn

Why should the Proceedings of a Symposium on Wild boar be published in the Journal of Mountain Ecology?

After carefully examining the work done, the editorial board of “Ibex - Journal of Mountain Ecology”, has decided to publish the Proceedings of the “2nd International Symposium on Wild boar (Sus scrofa) and on sub-order Suiformes” for three basic reasons.

1 - The present distribution of the species in the Alps. The Wild boar reappeared in many parts of the Alps at the beginning of this century. From the mid-sixties, its population has expanded in the mountain areas of many european countries, Italy in particular. The causes of this phenomenon are to be found in the far-reaching transformation of the local environment and in climatic changes that have taken place since the 1960s. In addition to such factors, we find that man has abandoned much of the mountain areas located above 800-1,000 metres, entailing profound environmental changes, such as: the expansion of wooded areas, the invasion of Alpine meadows by bushes, the transformation of undergrowth and woods that are no longer managed. As a result of this there is more food available with a high nutritional value in particular chestnuts, acorns and beech nuts, no longer used for human and animal food.
There is a continuous increase in the local populations that correspond to the increase in the areas available to the species. This is brought about by the numerous acts of introducing wild boars for hunting. Many of the wild boars set free in the hilly and pre-Alpine areas end up by colonizing, at least seasonally, even the highest of mountain districts.

2 - Role of the protected mountain areas. The wild boar’s territorial expansion involves many Alpine areas, where there are full protection or hunting restrictions, whereby any kind of intervention on fauna is strictly limited or forbidden. The coming of this species in many Alpine parks is considered as a very important ecological event not only for its impact on vegetation, but also for the one it has on several species of Alpine fauna that are particularly at risk and threatened. Such interference in an Alpine environment is still largely unstudied. Moreover, the Wild boar, in many protected areas, risks exasperating relations between the park managers and the local populations. The latter end up by considering the measures for protecting fauna as responsible for the expansion of the species in areas where farming and forestry activities are already highly penalised.

3 - Impact of Wild boar on Alpine meadows. The appearance of Wild boars at high altitudes has important repercussions on the Alpine ecosystem. In many moutain areas indirect signs of their presence have been seen on Alpine meadows above 2,400 m. Frequently these areas are steep sloping and man undertakes no maintenance work here. What impact can the presence of this species have over time on such delicate ecosystems where any restoration is slow and difficult?
These and other points may find an answer in the works presented at this Symposium and the experience reported by researchers from various countries, albeit with very different environmental conditions, may be extremely useful for directing new research projects and for understanding what may be the future developments of Wild boar in the mountains.

The Editor in Chief of Ibex
V. Peracino


The 2nd Symposium was held in Turin, Italy, sponsorised by the University of Turin, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Production, Epidemiology and Ecology, under the professorship of Ecology (Prof. P. Durio), together with the sponsorship of Piedmont Region. In this occasion, researchers from all over the world, rapresenting Universities, National Research Institutes, nature reservers and game reserves, met in Turin.

E. Macchi, C. Mann, D. Fogliato & P. Durio (eds).

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Journal of Mountain Ecology
The Journal of Mountain Ecology is an OPEN ACCESS peer reviewed journal published by the Gran Paradiso National Park.