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The peat-bog of Pian Del Re

The National Federation Pro Natura has succeeded in safeguarding the area of source springs of the Po River by founding an integral reserve on the site in 1993 which is now a part of the regional park of the Po.
The environment which is situated at an altitude of 2020 metres in the municipality of Crissolo (Cuneo) boasts of a concentration of notable naturalistic and environmental value of great prominence. In fact this area distinguishes itself because of the peat-bog which lies at this high altitude in a humid area which is a rarity in the Alpine mountains. It is also one of the three habitats of its kind known in the Piedmont region.

The oasis of Pian del Re is situated at the foot of Monviso. The peat-bog has been considered to be of great environmental interest since 1997 and was, therefore, immediately distinguished in the study of the” Census of Biotypes of Vegetational Interest Worthy of Preservation in Italy” carried out by the Botanical Society of Italy. In very limited spaces numerous different environments are found wherein lies an exceptional wealth of flora. In only 40 hectares, over 300 botanical species have been catalogued. The most interesting species are those that are endemic and typical of the humid mountain areas, often having survived as relic species which have thrived until today from the last glaciations.

Not only does the great value of the area of Pian del Re lie in the vegetation but also in the important species of the existing fauna. Of particular importance is the presence of the black or Alpine salamander. Making their habitat along the common border areas with the French regional park of Queyran is a colony of ungulates including the chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) and wild goats (Aegoceros).

The intervention of Pro Natura has allowed the safeguarding of the peat bog to be protected from excessive hardness due to the improper use of vehicles and of people in the area.
In order to fully benefit from the didactic aim, the oasis has been equipped with a nature trail which has been especially built on wooden piles thus enabling visitors to cross it without causing any damage.
Along the way descriptive panels allow visitors to understand and appreciate the natural characteristics of the area as well as its exceptional uniqueness.

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