Flora and fauna

Flora and fauna

Plants and animals are important parts of the wild world heritage. Many climatic zones, ranging from alpine areas down to the warm valley floors and fjords lead to a highly varied fauna and flora.

This article deals with the most important biological connections characterizing our area.

The weathering of the relatively young rock phyllite creates a nutrient-rich soil for lime-demanding plants, which leads to a rich biological variation within the park area. Consequently, the area is of great interest to botanists and others interested in plant life. Vegetation with fine forests of deciduous trees and primeval forests along the fjords is looked upon as a strong landscape element in the area. In addition, we find many outlying hayfields, grazing areas with occasional examples of pollarded trees.

In the mountains there are a number of areas with bogs and lakes that are important biotopes for wetland birds. The Grånosmyrane bogs nature reserve is protected primarily because of its rich bird life. The Nærøyfjord area is rich in birds of prey with a number of nesting species.

In terms of fauna, we find wild reindeer populations in the mountains and a stable deer population in the hillsides and in the valleys. There are few predatory animals in the area, but there are indications that the number of gluttons has increased in recent years. Lynx has been spotted from time to time.

There are many rivers in the area where salmon and sea trout spawn, such as the rivers of Nærøyelva, Lærdalselva, and Aurlandselva. In the river of Aurlandselva the fish stock is so low that salmon-fishing has been stopped. The watercourse of Lærdalselvi has been infected by the notorious salmon parasite Gyrodactilus Salaris and it is now treated with acid aluminium.

Within the World Heritage Park there are many untouched wilderness areas. The untouched areas are of great value to scientists and as a reference for flora and fauna.

These are some of the more interesting birds you may spot in the area

  • Golden eagle
  • Kestrel
  • Rough-legged buzzard
  • Gyrfalcon
  • White-tailed sea eagle
  • Goshawk
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Merlin
  • White-backed woodpecker
  • Rare duck

Try your luck at fishing in these rivers

  • Nærøyelvi (salmon and trout)
  • Flåmselvi
  • Lærdalselvi (now infected with the salmon parasite Gyrodactilus Salaris and is being treated with acid aluminium

Forests

  • The hardwood deciduous forests along the Nærøyfjord and the Aurlandsfjord are diverse with a high proportion of linden trees
  • At Morki at the entrance to the Nærøyfjord there is a well-developed linden forest where we can find the rare grass species of drooping woodreed.
  • In the valley of Nordheimsdalen we find pine forest. In the upper part of the valley we find a more primeval forest.
  • At Legdene above Lægdaviki there is an old pine forest
  • At the gully of Hausagjelet to the east of Revsnes and on the hillside to the east of Instegjelet above the hamlet of Indre Frønningen in the Bleia nature reserve we find a unique pine forest. The same is also found at Kristenkamben in the Bleia – Storebotnen protected landscape area. At Hausagjelet we find an endangered cryptogam flora (spore-reproducing plants) in connection with primeval forest with much aspen.
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