The highest area in the Apennines. Montane habitats include alpine meadows, rocky areas, glaciers and extensive beech woodlands (Fagus). The site includes Lago di Penne, a small artificial lake. The main land-uses are nature conservation and tourism.
An important breeding site for four of the 10 species of the Eurasian high-montane biome, and for Alectoris graeca as well as various raptors, passerines, and Nycticorax nycticorax at Lago di Penne.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main threat is the building of new tourist (ski) resorts and related infrastructure. Chamois Rupicapra rupicapra are being reintroduced to the area. Università dell'Aquila is researching the invertebrates and high-altitude flora, and the avifauna is monitored. There is a WWF reserve at Lago di Penne.
National High International None75,000 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Gran Sasso-Monti della Laga, 145,000 ha). 150 ha of IBA covered by Regional Nature Reserve (Lago di Penne, 150 ha).