|Date||2 Aug 2007|
Harghita Mountains belong to the volcanic chain of Eastern Romanian Carpathians, which was active during the late Tertiary period. It is build by around 10 volcanic cones, among which Harghita-Cone is encircled by the highest peaks of the mountain range (Hegyes-kő – 1570 m, Mihály-Havas 1685 m, Madarasi-Hargita – 1800 m, Rákosi-Hargita – 1757 m, Madéfalvi-Hargita – 1710 m, Csicsói-Hargita – 1759 m). The landscape is dominated continuous Picea abies forests, but the local geomorphology of the inner and outer sides of the former crater allowed the development of several spring-fens, raised-bogs, rich-fens and an aapa-fen type, extremely fragile habitats that are very important from conservational point of view. One of the largest peatland is the Szökő Láp (Szökő Peatland) under the peak of Madarasi-Hargita.There grows populations of several rare and protected plant species, like Carex limosa, Comarum palustre, Dactylorhiza cordigera ssp. siculorum, Drosera rotundifolia, Listera cordata, Menyanthes trifoliata, Paludella squarrosa, Pinguicula vulgaris, Pseudorchis albida etc. Raised bogs are characterised by tussocks of Sphagnum species, on which small shrubs of Empetrum nigrum, Eriophorum vaginatum, Oxycoccos microcarpum, Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium uliginosum, Vaccinium vitis-idaea established, creating a specific landscape.
Unfortunately, several of these habitats are unknown to scientific and nature protection community. Moreover, recent retrocedation of lands draw serious problems regarding effective protection of these habitats. Anticipating their degradation due to lack of informations and consequently improper land use, the main activities of the project are as follows:
Harghita Mountains are also called “the saint mountain” of seklers (the local people) and are visited annually by thousands of tourists from home and abroad, attracted by its beautiful landscape and continuous spruce forests, home to one of the largest population of bears and wolves from Romania. The establishment of a nature reserve in this area offers a good opportunity to raise public awareness regarding the unique natural values of Romania.
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