Welcome to the European botanical garden
Creator, photographer and content manager
Written by Karl Trawoeger
I would love to tell you something about the flora of the Monte Baldo.
If you are hiking with your kids or walking up a more or less difficult summit, you will admire the unique flora of Monte Baldo, which is called the European botanical garden.
I’m sure that while walking to reach your destination, you will stop for a while and spend some time just to admire and take pictures of an alpine star or of a saxifrage found on your way.
Climbers and excursionists should always love and protect nature; therefore I advise you to take pictures instead of picking up one of those rare species.
Now I want to inform you about local laws, to avoid you warnings and problems with our rangers, who are really strict.
On the Monte Baldo there are State areas, which are nature reserves, and some local and “free” areas where cows can pasture. On the excursion maps, which can be found in the tourist office, the borders between the different areas are clearly marked. In the nature reserves you are allowed to walk up every path, but you can’t take different tracks, pick up flowers, mushrooms or any other type of plant or flower. If you don’t follow these rules, you could be liable to get denounced!
In the other areas you can take the tracks you prefer. On the pastures you can usually see the most beautiful flora. Monte Baldo is full of unique species, that’s why if you want to pick up flowers you have to make sure that they are not protected.
I would like to name just three important protected species: the orchid, in all his variety of species (this flower is under the protection of Washington convention signed by almost 400 countries), the extirpation is severally punished, in some cases also with imprisonment. Then there are the saxifrages, the sengreen tectorum and various species of lilies. The extirpation of those is liable to onerous fines. At the rangers office you can find brochures with all the protected species, which you are not allowed to pick.
My advice is to leave those species to the nature where they belong.
The Baldo mountain territory doesn’t only have a luxuriant flora, but it is also popular for its variety of wild animal species. It won’t be difficult to meet some chamois. There is a large number of them living on Monte Baldo, since when their hunting was abolished few years ago.
Many marmots as well live in this area. You can see their burrows just a little bit further the cable-car station in the area called “Colma” and if you are lucky you can also see them peeping out their burrows. Marmots are very curios animals and they are not afraid of humans.
Deer, hares, pheasant, foxes and badgers are also numerous on this mountain. The largest animal population is however the one of birds. Since the last calculation there should be more or less 153 species.
Here on the Monte Baldo live also some specimens of golden eagles, which found here the perfect condition for living and making their nest. If you find a nest with eggs however, don’t touch it! The female could easily feel your presence and interrupt immediately the brooding, with the consequent death of all the eggs. If the nest belongs to a wild roaster instead, the female will fly in your direction, trying to move you away from this place.
On Monte Baldo there is moreover a great number of butterflies, humans’ idol, if you are fast enough you can take photos of them.
But there are also a lot of snakes living there, harmless snakes, but also some venomous vipers. People got rarely bitten, because vipers are scared of humans and they usually run away when they hear someone coming nearer. But it’s always important to be careful!
Those cold blood animals love lying on warm rocks or in sunny fields; so it’s a good idea to bring a stick and make some noise to scare them. It’s hard to believe, but the 95% of bites is on arms and hands. Snakes usually bite because they are afraid. For example, if you sit on a rock and the snake is lying under that rock, it will probably bite you as soon as you move your arms or hands because it feels threatened by you. If this happens… don’t panic.
The best thing to do is to tie up the upper part of the arm to slow down the blood circulation, call the rangers and run immediately to the nearest hospital. A European viper bite usually does not cause the death of an adult or of a child older than 6/8 years. The bite is dangerous for babies or if the snake bites you on your face or neck.
I don’t want to forget dogs. In the reserve it is obligatory to keep them by the leash, while in the other areas they can run free, always however under your control.
I hope you will able to see one of these wild animals, or at least the one of the numerous cows, which I think have their charm anyway!
Enjoy your excursions!