The Alpine bioregion

The alpine bioregion includes the mountains, that are above the hill regions. The diorama dedicated to the Romanian Carpathians follows a transition from the lower zone of the alpine floor, with beech-forest vegetation mixed with spruce fir, to higher zones, passing through the zone of pure sprice firs, that of dor bushes and alpine lawns, with snow rose, edelweiss etc.

Fauna is disposed itself as a consequence: in the beech and spruce woods areas large carnivores may be met, such as the wolf, the bear and the lynx, and also such birds as hazel hen, the eagle owl, mountain cock, nuthatch, various titmice; following then upwards the mountain eagle, the mountain viper may be met and in the upper alpine zone, the chamois, the marmot (reinserted species), the dotterel, the raven.

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Carpathian Mountains

The number of vertebrate species signalled in this bioregion is more than 600. For mammals, the large carnivore species are to be remarked: the bear (Ursus arctos), the wolf (Canis lupus) and the lynx (Lynx lynx), for all the three of them the Romanian Carpathians being one of the most important population reservoirs at European level.

The same is valid for large herbivorous species as the Carpathian stag (Cervus elaphus) and the chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra). The carst areas, which are widely dispersed in the calcareous massifs, provides a refuge for the numerous species of bats, many of them having a protective importance at continental level. From among the rodents, the Alpine marmot (Marmota marmota) was reinserted after it had disappeared in the 19th century.

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As for the birds, spectacular species are to be remarked, such as the mountain cock (Tetrao urogallus) and the next-to-kin species, smaller and rarer, namely the black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), which is met only in Maramureş, or the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), but also special small size species: wall creeper (Tichodroma muraria), specific to vertical walls, white-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus) that lives along the mountain rivers and brooks, ring ouzel (Turdus torquatus) and alpine accentor (Prunella collaris) characteristic to alpine lawns, spotted nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes) and common crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) from the conifer woods etc. Reptiles are represented by species that love a cool climate, such as the common lizard (Lacerta [Zootoca] vivipara) and the common European viper (Vipera berus berus), and also by widely dispersed species, such as slow worm (Anguis fragilis) or sand lizard (Lacerta agilis).

Among the fauna species from the Carpathians, which in a number of 101 are especially protected, being listed in Natura 2000 category.

Horned viper (Vipera ammodytes) appearing in certain calcareous areas, in Banat, Oltenia and the southern part of the Apuseni mountains. Widely spread species among amphibians are found as for instance the salamander (Salamandra salamandra), the alpine newt (Triturus alpestris) or the common frog (Rana temporaria), but also endemic taxons of the Carpathian ring, such as the Carpathian newt (Triturus montandoni), widespread from the Czech Republic to the Southern Carpathians, or the smooth newt (Triturus vulgaris ampelensis) which may only be met in Romania.

The fish in the mountain waters are relatively few; the Danube salmon (Hucho hucho) is extremely rare, in the course of disappearance, grayling (Thymallus thymallus) is also a species in danger, and the Romanian darter (Romanichthys valsanicola) is a species whose worldwide spread is limited to Vâlsan river, being a Romanian unique fish with an exceptional scientific and protective value. Invertebrates are very numerous; such species with an unusual colour are to be remarked, such as Rosalia longicorn (Rosalia alpina) or Apollo butterfly (Parnassius apollo), the latter being endangered including through its collection for entomological collections.

As regards the fauna species in the Carpathians, of which a number of 101 are especially protected, being listed in the category Natura 2000, each member state of the European Commission is due to designate such sites undertaking to assure therein the favourable conditions for their conservation.

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