Wetlands of International Importance: Switzerland,

29/01/2005

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Rhonegletschervorfeld. 02/02/05; Valais; 317 ha; 46°34'N 008°22'E. IFP, Alluvial Zone of National Importance. The site includes the spur of ice of the Rhône glacier (source of the Rhône River) and the recent glacier foreland, between 1,750 and 2,485 meters asl. The flat alpine alluvial zone of Gletschbode contains the various stages of plant successions from the pioneer associations on raw ground up to the forests of larches and different types of vegetation developing on wet, moist and even dry grounds. The glacier foreland is an important place for the mountain avifauna, and 25 species of birds are breeding on site, among which are the Rock Partridge, the Black Grouse, the Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush. In summer and autumn, the site is used for recreation (hiking, alpinism, ice grotto visit) and grazed by cattle on restricted areas. The Cantonal Service of the Forests and Landscape is in charge of the management of the site. Ramsar site no. 1445.

Photos by Tobias Salathé, Ramsar, and Meinrad Küttel, BUWAL Schweiz

The Rhône Glacier

The extent of the glacier foreland in the Ramsar site, with Gletsch in the background and the road towards the Furkapass, between Brig and Andermatt, on the left. Seen from the Belvedere, on the same road adjacent to the glacier's icefall.

Photos by Tobias Salathé.

Gletsch

Photos by Meinrad Küttel.

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