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Location Switzerland, Valais
Central coordinates 7o 47.00' East  46o 6.00' North
IBA criteria A3, B2, B3
Area 22,061 ha
Altitude 695 - 3,380m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

SVS/BirdLife Switzerland



Summary The site consists of a long valley running from south to north in the central Alps. Habitats include natural conifer forests, alpine meadows, rocky areas, traditional agricultural landscapes and urban areas. An important site for species breeding in subalpine and alpine habitats. Mountain railways provide tourist access to remote areas. Therefore, the main threats are from tourism and related infrastructure developments, in both summer and winter.

Site description Das Mattertal ist ein Walliser Südtal mit einer Länge von ungefähr 30 km. Es reicht von Zermatt bis Stalden. Das mehrheitlich enge Tal mit steilen Seitenhängen weitet sich nur an wenigen Orten auf und erlaubt im Talgrund eine Heuwiesennutzung oder grössere Ortschaften (Zermatt). Die Talhänge sind stark bewaldet und weisen viele Felsbänder, Schuttfächer und Blockhalden auf. Unterhalb 1200 m dominiert Laubwald (Esche, Erle, Birke, Weide, Linde), darüber bildet die Lärche stellenweise fast Reinbestände. Die obere Waldgrenze liegt bei etwa 2200 m ü. M. Die Grenzen des IBAs «Mattertal» beziehen noch die darüber liegenden alpinen Rasen und Felsregionen mit ein, schliessen aber die höheren Gipfel und Gletscherregionen aus.

Key Biodiversity Das Gebiet zeichnet sich durch grosse Bestände von Vogelarten des eurasisch hoch-montanen (alpinen) Bioms aus. Hierzu zählen Alpenbraunelle, Mauerläufer, Alpendohle und Schneesperling. Verschiedene Raufusshühner brüten ebenfalls im Mattertal. Unter den Greifvögeln brüten Habicht, Sperber, Mäusebussard, Steinadler, Turmfalke und auch der Wanderfalke im Mattertal. Zudem ist die Alpenkrähe im IBA «Mattertal» ein Brutvogel, wenn auch ein seltener.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Grouse Lyrurus tetrix resident  1996  150-250 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca resident  1996  80-130 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Near Threatened 
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos resident  1996  5 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla breeding  1996  20 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus resident  1996  300-550 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria resident  1996  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus breeding  1996  350-600 breeding pairs  B3  Least Concern 
Rufous-tailed Rock-thrush Monticola saxatilis breeding  1996  25-60 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 
White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis resident  1996  200-400 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris resident  1996  200-400 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Alpine Citril Finch Carduelis citrinella breeding  1996  100-250 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 low not assessed negligible
unset
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration likely in long term (beyond 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Geological events avalanches/landslides happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species direct mortality of trigger species - hunting and trapping happening now whole area/population (>90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Pollution noise pollution happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Very little or no conservation action taking place  negligible 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Abberggletscher Floodplains of National Importance 100 protected area overlaps with site 14  
Bieltini Fenlands of National Importance 2 protected area contained by site 2  
Boniger See Fenlands of National Importance 1 protected area contained by site 1  
Boniger See Raised and Transitional Bogs of National Importance 4 protected area contained by site 4  
Dent Blanche-Matterhorn-Monte Rosa Landscapes and Natural Monuments of National Importance 26,942 protected area overlaps with site 2,039  
Hohlichtgletscher Floodplains of National Importance 109 protected area overlaps with site 48  
Triftgletscher VS Floodplains of National Importance 165 protected area overlaps with site 1  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland; Treeline ecotone  25%
Grassland Alpine, subalpine and boreal grassland  22%
Artificial - terrestrial Other urban and industrial areas; Urban parks and gardens  3%
Rocky areas Inland cliffs; Scree & boulders  46%
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Raised bogs; Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 22%
forestry -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport 3%

Protection status BLN-Landschaften: Dent Blanche – Matterhorn – Monte Rosa: wenig im IBA; Flachmoore: 2 Objekte: vollständig im IBA; Hochmoore: 1 Objekt: vollständig im IBA; Auengebiete: Abberggletscher: teilweise im IBA; Hohlichtgletscher: teilweise im IBA; Triftgletscher: wenig im IBA;

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Valley of Zermatt. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2014

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