Ungulates

Animals on tiptoes

Roe deer | APAM Archive, R. Malacrida

The large mammals you may encounter in the Marguareis Natural Park are the wild ungulates. The protected area is home to four of the six species of ungulates found in the Alps: chamois, roe deer, red deer and wild boar. All these animals are called "ungulates" because they move on hooves which are a transformation of their nails: in other words, they walk on "tiptoe".

We tend to think that the animals we meet in the Park have always lived here. In reality, the intervention of human beings has heavily influenced the composition and density of the fauna of these mountains, resulting in extinctions, natural returns, reintroductions: the current rich and diversified wildlife heritage is therefore the result of centuries of transformation ... and the last thirty years of wildlife management by the Park!

For example, about five hundred years ago in the valleys of the Marguareis Nature Park there were reports of large carnivores such as bears, wolves, lynx and ungulates such as deer, roe deer, ibex, wild boar and chamois. In the nineteenth century, the sharp increase in population in the mountains led to an intensification of hunting ungulates, they were good food, in competition with the shepherds on the pastures and rivals of the farmers, many ungulates became extinct. Deer, roe deer and wild boar had completely disappeared, only the chamois, able to survive in environments that were difficult for humans to inhabit, managed to escape their fate.

The roe deer, wild boar and deer that we meet today in the Park have therefore arrived in the protected area in more or less recent times, following artificial re-introductions.

Roe deer

The roe deer is the smallest ungulate in Marguareis Park, and is its the symbol.

Red deer

The king of the forest.

Wild boar

A widespread presence.

Chamois

Hooked horns and great agility.