Stretching across several major mountain ranges in Europe, including the Alps, the Pyrenees and the Carpathians, Alpine ecotypes are some of the most biodiverse in Europe. Coniferous forest covers the lower peaks of the Carpathians. Tree species include Silver Fir (Abies alba), Norway Spruce (Picea albies) and European Beech (Fagus sylvatica). These Mountains hold some of the last remaining virgin forests in Europe [i].
Lacul Bâlea and the Transfăgărășan
A misty morning around Lacul Bâlea, a mountain lake in a cirque in the Făgăraș Mountains. This is now a popular tourist spot, because of the construction of the Transfăgărășan mountian road, built during the rule of Nicolae Ceaușescu between 1970-74.
In the southern Carpathians, particularly in the Făgăraș Mountains, between 50m and 1900m forest and scrub dominates. Above 1900m, the forests give way to alpine meadows and low growing flowering vegetation.
There are many endemic plant species in the Carpathians, including Delphinium oxysepalum which is pictured in the bottom left of this section [ii].
One of the larger animals in the Carpathians is the Carpathian Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra carpatica). This sub-species is charactised by is darker coat, as opposed to its Alpine and Balkan relatives, hence it's known as the black goat or capra neagră in Romania [iii].
More photos from the trip
[i] Dítě, D., Hájek, M., Svitková, I., Košuthová, A., Šoltés, R. and Kliment, J. (2018). Glacial-relict symptoms in the Western Carpathian flora. [online] Springer Link. Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12224-018-9321-8 [Accessed 16 Oct. 2019].
[ii] World Wildlife Fund. (2019). Carpathians. [online] Available at: https://www.worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/pa0504 [Accessed 16 Oct. 2019].
[iii] IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (2019). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. [online] Available at: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/39255/10179647 [Accessed 16 Oct. 2019].