The Gran Paradiso National Park holds, since 1947, its own guards corp that watches over and patrols the protected area. Differently from the most recent national parks, where the surveillance is managed, in the framework of the Legge quadro, from the State Corps of Foresters, the Gran Paradiso National Park keeps its own corp of historical guards, carrying on tradition and experience strenghten by time.
On duty from dawn till dusk
It is above all thanks to the rangers that the ibex has been saved from extinction, and today there are nearly 4000 specimens in the protected area. The guards, 62 in all, have a deep knowledge of the park's territory, its animals and its environment, and they provide a service which is quite unique, watching over the territory from dawn till dusk.
All this is made possible by a network of around forty ranger "lodges". In use from May to October, they provide indispensable logistical support for patrol, monitoring, and scientific research, in a park characterized by considerable differences in altitude between the valley floors and the mountain summits. This network of service structures is complete with centres for the study of the alpine fauna, the rangers' quarters and the guest accommodations in all the valleys.
The Park surveillance corp, following its traditions and without loosing its strenghts, evolves constantly, with updates that goes from giudicial rules to the alpine rescue service, from first aid notions to knowledges on the fauna field.
Besides to the high altitude traditional surveillance activity the service today plays also the role of police authority, has direct relations with the public and participates to scientific researches.
The guards, indeed, collaborate with the Prosecutors and with the Park Body tecnical-urban service, give advices to tourists during excursions, invervene in school presentation of the Park and give contribution to different kinds of reseraches carried out by the park scientific service and the university.
Photo: Davide Glarey