Monte Generoso is home to more than 800 plant species, a considerable number that makes this area one of the most valuable in Canton Ticino. This great botanical diversity, favoured by the calcareous substrate and the coexistence of substrates poor in carbonates, is explained above all by the existence of numerous valuable open environments, such as dry meadows of national importance.
The area as a whole is exceptionally rich in valuable natural and cultural elements; the Swiss part of the Monte Generoso massif is included in the Federal Inventory of Landscapes and Natural Monuments of National Importance.
It is also home to several biotopes, such as two amphibian reproduction sites of national importance and numerous areas of the Inventory of Dry Meadows and Pastures of National Importance (PPS). Monte Generoso is characterised by a large complex of very diverse and rare forest environments, among which are numerous associations of naturalistic value, such as beech and holly woods. In addition, we find lime woods with asperula, xerophilous ostrich woods with manna ash and mixed chestnut woods with lime on acidified moraines.
The Reserve is characterised by the presence of the Luzula nivea beech forest. Monte Generoso is one of the best examples of 'nunatak' in the Southern Swiss Alps: during the last glaciation, the summit of Monte Generoso was one of the few areas that emerged from the ice and thus assumed the role of a refuge zone.
The area is home to protected species such as the wild peony (Paeonia officinalis), the Piedmontese gladiolus (Gladiolus imbricatus) and the mountain asphodel (Asphodelus albus), as well as the lepidopteran Brevantennia siederi, the carabid beetles Trechus laevipes, Boldoriella tedeschii tedeschii and Duvalius longhii longhii, the mollusc Chondrina generosensis and the terrestrial gastropod Tandonia nigra, which is an endangered species for which Monte Generoso plays a decisive conservation role at international level.
The rich variety of environments and the strategic location of Monte Generoso along one of the migratory routes that cross the Alps favour the presence of a highly diversified avifauna. For these reasons, the sector is considered a priority area for the conservation and protection of numerous bird species, such as the honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus).
The Reserve is located within the Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) "Monte Generoso" (no. 30) and within the Emerald Network "Monte Generoso" (CH36).
Reasons for establishing the reserve
One of the main objectives defined in the Cantonal Forest Plan is the creation of a representative network of forest reserves, which can strengthen the Ticino forest as a privileged space for the promotion and protection of biodiversity. Forest reserves are in fact fundamental for safeguarding biological diversity, since they guarantee the natural processes of evolution and development of forest ecosystems.
In the past, the forest was heavily exploited, mainly for the production of charcoal and firewood used in particular for the production of lime. Even today in the area can still be seen the remains of some clearings once used for charcoal pits.
The forest cover of the reserve consists of common beech (Fagus sylvatica). As of 2022 and for a minimum period of 50 years, the forests in the reserve are left entirely to natural evolution. Only targeted cuts will be permitted to ensure safety along the main paths, near the Dal Zalin waterhole and along the agricultural area.
Facts and figures
- extends from an altitude of 1,000 m a.s.l. to an altitude of 1,220 m a.s.l. (mountain horizon) over an area of 37 hectares belonging to the Patriziato of Castel San Pietro, Terrieri di Campora, Monte and Casima, the promoter and owner;
- established in 2022, for a minimum period of 50 years;
- integral forest reserve;
- beech forest on limestone substrate
- VENUES Eco-friendly
- PARKS AND GARDENS Natural parks