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Ledro Alps and Judicaria Biosphere Reserve, Italy

The Ledro Alps and Judicaria Biosphere Reserve is located in the Trentino Alto Adige region of northern Italy, between the Brenta Dolomites, one of the nice constituents of the Dolomites World Heritage Site, and Lake Garda. The site is representative of the southern slopes of the central-eastern Alps and comprises a variety of habitats including Alpine meadows, forest, grasslands and moorlands, alternating with traditional crops. Its location contributes to a rich and varied biodiversity, creating a continuous north-south corridor between the protected areas of the Po valley and the northern Alps. The area also includes two pile-dwelling settlements around Lake Ledro and Lake Carera-Fiavè and is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The reserve is highly valued as a tourist destination with tourism the main source of income for the permanent population of 15,845 residents. Agriculture is the principal economic activity, in particular, viticulture, olive, fruit and vegetable growing and animal husbandry among others.

Designation date: 2015


Regional network:  EuroMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 47,427 ha

    • Core area(s): 4,786 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 15,774 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 26,867 ha

    Location: N/A

    Administrative Authorities

    Provincia Autonoma di Trento
    Via Romano Guardini 75 - 38121 Trento ITALIA

    Tel.: +39.461497885

    Viale Dante, 46 - 38079 Tione di Trento

    Tel.: +39.465321210

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The reserve forms part of a corridor linking the Adamello-Brenta Nature Park in the Trento Autonomous Province in the north and Upper Lake Garda Park in the Lombardia region to the south. The central and southernmost part of the proposed area is characterized by the presence of steep rocky mountain slopes, mostly covered with broad-leaved or mixed woods and interrupted by pastureland or agricultural crops. Open areas predominate in the higher band or on the valley floor. The southern part is characterized by the presence of higher mountains, with conifer woods, above which extensive grasslands and the rocky pinnacles of the Dolomites offer spectacular scenery.

    Large carnivores such as the lynx (Lynx linx) and brown bear (Ursus arctos) represent the top of the food chain in the reserve. In 1996, the Adamello Brenta Nature Park established the “Life Ursus” project to reintroduce the brown bear following a drop in numbers to near extinction levels. Between 1999 and 2002, 10 brown bears were released adapting well to their new environment. Today, there are over 30 brown bears in the Central Alps.

    Reptiles, invertebrates and birds are represented by the rock partridge (Alectoris graeca saxatilis), black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), Eurasian pygmy owl (Glaucidium passerinum), white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes italicus), alpine newt (Triturus alpestris) and Aesculapian snake (Elaphe longissima).

    The Dolomite and pile-dwelling sites are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    On the valley floors and lower slopes are dozens of small villages, many of which are of considerable historic and architectural value. Bleggio Superiore, Bondone, Comano Terme, Fiavé, Ledro, Riva del Garda, San Lorenzo Dorsino, Stenico, Storo and Tenno hosts 15,000 inhabitants and more than 200 voluntary, social, cultural and sports associations. The population doubles in the summer due to seasonal tourism, the main economic activity in the region. In the past the area was characterized by the rearing of cattle in pasture. The use of pastureland and forests is based on collective ownership of resources. 

    The first permanent settlements were documented around Lake Ledro and Lake Carera at Fiavé. These were Bronze Age pile-dwelling settlements whose importance is reflected in their inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011.


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    Last updated: April 2022