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Project area

The project area is characterized by high forest cover (5800 ha) mainly consisting in beech trees and scrub. Are also represented artificial reforestation and conifers dominated by spruce, larch and exotic conifers. Where morphological and pedological conditions are more favorable evolution towards stable plant communities, with a prevalence of beech, are common. Within the project area a limited extension relict population of white spruce survive in Alpe Cusogna. Pastures and grasslands play an important role for their remarkable extension too.

With regard to the land tenure aspect, the pSIC is largely state property managed by Piedmont Region. An individual private citizens owns an important areas composed by different parcels.

Val Sessera, thanks to the particular microclimatic conditions and the marginal position with respect to the Alps, hosts many species of flora and fauna unique in all the Piedmont Alps. These have found a refuge during glaciations allowing the presence of populations isolated from the main range of the species or the presence of steno-endemic populations, the most of which is the Carabo of Olimpia (Carabus olympiae).

In the site have been identified some environments of commmunity importance, such as the alluvial forests of alder (Alnus incana) and matgrass grassland with abundance and varieties of species.

The flora is very rich with about 800 entities reported, 32 of which are protected under Regional Law 32/82, 6 are listed in the  Italian or regional Red List, Asplenium adulterinum is inserted in the AII. II and IV of the Habitats Directive (DH). It is also remarkable the rich variety of fungi. Among the species of Community interest, one that takes on greater value is certainly the carabo of Olympia, its beauty and its rarity led many entomologists and collectors to indiscriminately hunting up to threatening it of extinction. Among the invertebrates stands also the presence of Falkneria Camerani, one of the rarest Italiansmolluscs, and the beetle curculionidae Neoplinthus dentimanus.

The diurnal Lepidoptera are distinguished by a population consisting of a large number of species, some of which are subject to strict protection according to DH.

Concerning birds populations, 70 species are reported, 9 of which are listed in the Annex I of the D.U.: among these was the European Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), peregrine falcon (falco peregrinus), the black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) and the eagle owl (Bubo bubo).

Mammals are 25 species; stand the presence of the Alpine shrew (Sorex alpinus), very rare species in the Alps of Piedmont, which is housed in a suitable environment as other east-alpine species.