The emblem of the Oasi Zegna nature park in the Biella Alps in Piemonte has always been the splendid Carabus olympiae, an endemic species of beetle discovered near Bocchetto Sessera in summer 1854 by Olimpia Sella, cousin of the famous entomologist Eugenio Sella.
Having risked extinction in the ’90s due to excessive capture by collectors, it is now the focus of the LIFE project to safeguard it and improve its habitat.
Funded by the European Community and coordinated by Ermenegildo Zegna Group in collaboration with Regione Piemonte, Turin’s Università degli Studi, and D.R.E.Am. Italia soc. coop. Agricolo-Forestale and Comunità Montana “Val Sessera, Valle di Mosso e Prealpi Biellesi”, this innovative project is an integral part of LIFE Natura and aims to build a new model for forestry management, environmental protection and development of alpine agriculture.
The theoretical plan initiated on 1 June 2012 collected information on the species and its habitat using a network of monitoring stations (entomological and forestry). In 2nd half 2013 the project entered the practical phase and implemented forestry and grazing management measures to improve the beetle’s habitat, the biodiversity of the area and its landscapes.
The project organizes special initiatives focusing on the territory for visitors to Oasi Zegna and also addresses the general public and schools online.
Project activities will be concluded on 31 December 2015.
To find out more and track the phases of the project, visit: