For nature lovers, adventurers and pure mountain air, the WWF Guardiaregia-Campochiaro Oasis is a fabulous destination in the Molise region of central Italy. Walking trails that vary in difficulty, and absolutely pristine landscapes, the reserve is stunning in every season. The colorful blooms in spring, the excursions in summer, the warm colors of autumn and the snow-covered beech forest in winter are all equally yet uniquely exquisite.
WWF Oasis in Guardiaregio-Campochiaro
The WWF Oasis was founded in 1997 in an area of about 3,135 hectares on the eastern slope of the Matese mountain range. It’s divided into two distinct areas: the Quirino Canyon area and the Mount Mutria area. The first occupies a position between the town and the heights of Mount Capraro and Torretta and houses fossil shells that confirm the presence of a once warm, tropical seabed.
Natural Springs and Falls
The area of Mount Mutria reaches a height of 1,823m. Along its steep cliffs, there are beech woods and canyons, among which the most spectacular is the Cusano Gully. There are also springs and waterways, such as the Rio Vivo, Quirino, and the San Nicola Waterfalls.
Plants and Animals
The variations in altitude allow for the passage from a typical Mediterranean scrub flora to Apennine vegetation characterized by beech woods.
In the spring, Monte Mitra is an eruption of scents and colors from the flowering crocus, beautiful gentians, lilies of San Giovanni, Aquilegia vulgaris, anemone of the Apennines and forget-me-nots.
In addition to the luxuriant flora, typical mountain fauna can be seen. Mount Mutria is home to wolves, wild boar, badgers, mountain lions, the Marsican Bear, deer and several birds of prey. The very rare Lanarius, Falco Pellegrino, Nibbio Reale, and the Poiana are just some of the species that can be observed. Among the other birds, you can also see the Alpine Red Chough and many types of woodpeckers. Given the abundance of water sources in the oasis, amphibians also have a considerable presence. In fact, the spectacled salamander is considered the symbol of the oasis.
The WWF Oasis in Guardiaregia-Campochiaro is open all year round, every day except Mondays, and is closed on Christmas Day, January 1st, Easter and Easter Monday and August 15th. You can reach it by car along the SS 17, between Isernia and Campobasso, exit at the junction of Guardiaregia or Campochiaro and follow the signs Oasi WWF.
photo copyrights: molisiamo.it; molisedoc.it; molisetabloid.altervista.orgA. Raucci
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