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Location Switzerland, Valais
Central coordinates 8o 5.00' East  46o 10.00' North
IBA criteria A3, B2, B3
Area 19,737 ha
Altitude 850 - 4,020m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

SVS/BirdLife Switzerland



Summary A high mountain region, in the southern Alps, with extensive forests, scrub, alpine meadows and rocky areas. An important area for species of subalpine and alpine habitats. No serious threats are known at this site.

Site description Das Simplongebiet ist eine vorwiegend sub- bis hochalpine Region in den Walliser Südalpen. Das IBA reicht vom Glishorn im Norden bis Gondo an der schweizerisch-italienischen Grenze und bezieht die umliegenden Gebirgszüge mit ein. Der grösste Teil des IBAs liegt oberhalb der Baumgrenze von etwa 2200 m ü. M. und wird von Zwergstrauchgesellschaften (v.a. Rostblättrige Alpenrose, Immergrüne Bärentraube, Besenheide, Heidelbeere) und alpinen Rasen gebildet. Darüber liegen ausgedehnte Regionen mit Geröll- und Blockschutthängen, schroffen Felsen und Gletschern. An den Hängen des Haupttales und des Laggintales befinden sich aufgelockerte bis dichte Lärchenwälder. Stellenweise sind xero- und mesophile Wiesen, Bachtobel oder kleinere Felsen eingestreut. Das Land wird vielerorts als Weide für Schafe und Rinder genutzt. Das Simplongebiet mündet im Süden in die enge und eindrückliche Gondoschlucht mit ihren riesigen Felswänden. Ab und zu treten hier unterhalb 1500 m neben der Lärche auch Rottanne, Bergföhre, Waldföhre und Laubhölzer auf. Entlang der Simplonpass-Strasse liegen kleinere Dörfer (Simplon-Dorf, Gabi, Gondo). Im Piemont grenzt anschliessend das italienische IBA IT004 «Val Antigorio e Val Formazza» an.

Key Biodiversity Das IBA «Simplon» weist viele Brutpaare sub- bis hochalpiner Vogelarten auf. So finden sich im Bergwald zahlreiche Grünspechte und Ringdrosseln. An der oberen Waldgrenze ist die Dichte von Birkund Steinhuhn recht hoch. Darüber und teilweise auch in der Gondoschlucht finden wir viele felsliebende Brutvogelarten des eurasisch hoch-montanen (alpinen) Bioms: Alpenbraunelle, Mauerläufer, Alpendohle und Schneesperling. Der Steinrötel erreicht in diesem Gebiet eine der höchsten Dichten der Schweiz.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Grouse Lyrurus tetrix resident  1996  120-200 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca resident  1996  70-110 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla breeding  1996  20-30 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Picus viridis resident  1996  50-150 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Not Recognised 
Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus resident  1996  200-300 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus breeding  1996  200-400 breeding pairs  B3  Least Concern 
Rufous-tailed Rock-thrush Monticola saxatilis breeding  1996  20 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 
White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis resident  1996  100-250 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris resident  1996  150-250 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Alpine Citril Finch Carduelis citrinella breeding  1996  100-200 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2012 high not assessed negligible
  unset
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Agricultural expansion and intensification wood and pulp plantations (includes afforestation) - small-holder plantations happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
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
Energy production and mining renewable energy happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance war, civil unrest and military exercises happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Pollution excess energy - noise pollution happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors utility & service lines happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) 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)  
Laggintal-Zwischbergental Landscapes and Natural Monuments of National Importance 11,498 protected area contained by site 11,498  
Simplonpass/Hopschusee Raised and Transitional Bogs of National Importance 67 protected area contained by site 67  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland; Treeline ecotone  15%
Grassland Alpine, subalpine and boreal grassland  17%
Rocky areas Inland cliffs; Scree & boulders  62%
Wetlands (inland) Raised bogs; Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater  -
Artificial - terrestrial Other urban and industrial areas; Urban parks and gardens  1%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 17%
forestry -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport 1%

Protection status BLN-Landschaften: Laggintal – Zwischbergental: vollständig im IBA; Hochmoore: 1 Objekt: vollständig im IBA;

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Simplon region. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/12/2014

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