WWF Guardiaregia-Campochiaro Oasis - Molise

WWF Guardiaregia-Campochiaro Oasis - Molise

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Type of protected area - Where it is located

Typology: WWF Oasis; established in March 1997.
Region: Molise
Province: Campobasso

LWWF Guardiaregia is located along the Apennine mountains of the Matese (from 600 to 1823 m altitude), in the municipal areas of Guardiaregia and Campochiaro. It was established in 1997 with an agreement between WWF Italy and the municipal administration of Guardiaregia. The boundaries in the neighboring areas of the municipality of Campochiaro were subsequently expanded. Overall today the WWF Oasis of Guardiaregia-Campochiaro, with its 2187 hectares, is the second Italian WWF oasis in terms of size.

Gole del Quirino - WWF Guardiaregia Oasis (photo


The main environmental components that characterize the Guardiaregia-Campochiaro Oasis are the forest cover and the high karst connotation of the landscape. The territory of the protected area is divided into three homogeneous areas: Monte Mutria, the gorges of the Quirino torrent and the woods of the karst area between the La Valle torrent and the Quirino torrent. Monte Mutria (1823 m altitude) marks the natural border between Campania and Molise and is characterized by extensive beech woods that almost reach its top where, some large sinkholes, host the typical high altitude grasslands of the Apennine peaks. The gorges of the Quirino torrent present spectacular karst phenomena, with gorges, waterfalls and caves, which are among the deepest abysses in Europe. About four kilometers long, they are covered by water only in some periods of the year. The phenomenon of the intermittence of a part of the sources that feed the course, however, allows the maintenance of a high quantity of water even in lean periods, however favoring the proliferation of flora and fauna.

Flora and fauna

The vegetational aspects of the Oasis are attributable to three main associations:
- the beech woods with yew and holly;
- the forests of the valleys consisting mainly of linden, mountain maple, curly maple and Lobel maple in association with numerous other herbaceous species;
- the high altitude grasslands at Festuca dimorpha and Sesleria tenuifolia.
As for the wildlife population, in the Guardiaregia-Campochiaro Oasis there are no longer large mammals except the wolf. The ungulates are now extinct throughout the province of Campobasso therefore the occasional sightings of fallow deer and roe deer, also reported for some areas of the Oasis, are to be attributed to specimens coming from restocking carried out elsewhere for hunting purposes. The wild boar is still well represented today with numerous populations, although not native, in consideration of the careless inputs aimed at hunting. However, the wildlife population of the Oasis can still be considered valuable both for the number of species and for the consistency of the populations. The marten, the marten, the weasel, the dormouse the dormouse in addition to the fox, the badger, the hare and several species of bats, are some of the mammals present in the oasis. As for birds, among the birds of prey there are the buzzard, the red kite, the honey buzzard, the peregrine falcon, the lanner falcon, the common owl, the tawny owl, the barn owl and the scops owl, while the presence of the eagle owl. The coral chough, the green woodpecker, the greater red woodpecker, the nuthatch are just some of the numerous passerines recorded in the area; the partridge, historically present on Monte Mutria, has recently been reintroduced. Witnesses of a high degree of biodiversity and necessarily of a good level of habitat conservation are also numerous amphibians, reptiles and fish; these include the Apennine fire salamander, the spectacled salamander, the Italian frog, lorbettino, the colle of Aesculapius and the brown trout.

Information for the visit

WWF Molise section
Guardiaregia-Campochiaro Oasis
Toronto Square Visitor Center
Guardiaregia (CB)

Video: Oasi WWF Guardiaregia (May 2022).