Maritime Alps

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
A large tract of the south-west Italian Alps, from Punta Marguaréis to Monviso. The area is divided into three sites: (1) Alta Valle Pesio e Tanaro (Nature Park), (2) Alpi Marittime (Nature Park) including Media e Alta Valle Stura and Alta Valle Gesso, and (3) Alta Valle Varaita. The main habitats are coniferous and broadleaved woodlands, glaciers and rocky areas, and alpine grasslands. Cattle-breeding and tourism are the main economic activities for local people.

Key biodiversity
The site supports good breeding numbers of some raptors and gamebirds, as well as five of the ten species of the Eurasian high-montane biome. The locality `Media e Alta Valle Stura' is an important `bottleneck' for migrating raptors (2,900-3,200 per autumn), mainly Pernis apivorus (2,000-3,000). Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Aquila clanga (max. 1, passage).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Major threats are posed by a project to build a highway to France, and by the large and ongoing loss of traditionally cultivated areas and of alpine grasslands. Projects in the Parco Naturale delle Alpi Marittime include the ongoing reintroduction of Gypaetus barbatus (and in the nearby Parc National du Mercantour in France), management of ungulates and fish, and studies on migratory birds, on breeding raptors, on Nucifraga caryocatactes and on Aegolius funereus.

Protected areas
National Partial International None1,061 ha of IBA covered by Regional Nature Reserve (Bosco e Laghi di Palanfre, 1,061 ha). 25,643 ha of IBA covered by Regional Nature Park (Alpi Marittime, 25,643 ha). 3,955 ha of IBA covered by Regional Nature Park (Alta Valle Pesio, 3,955 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Maritime Alps. Downloaded from on 04/12/2022.