Wildlife and plants
Three factors determine the wildlife of the region: climatic factors, geomorfological conditions and soil conditions. When we analyse the region as a whole, we see continuous woodlands with alternations of spruces, and mixed with deciduous forests, mainly at the eastern part of the land. The downhills pied with deforested lawns and alpine pastures give variety to the continuous woodlands, which then are united with cliffs of the gorge valleys.
During the Ice Age the transversal valley of the Bicaz brook - like any other Carpathian passages - was the gatherer land for wandering plant species, and when the climate warmed up it became a centre for the species. Species held up here, together with the native ones forms the present vegetation. This region, rich in a unique way, hosts several native species. Like the locoweed, the savine, the Scotch pine, and the rare yew-tree, which at the beginning of the last century existed in large numbers; unfortunately it was roughly eradicated by sculptors and shepherds.
In the region there are 4 habitat types:
1. Wildlife in the chalk cliffs: on the influence of the reflected sunlight and of the relative high temperature it developed various biozoenosises on the reefs and ascents. Some species took refuge in these places difficult of access; amog the conifers the Scotch pine, the yew-tree and the savine. On the rim of rock masses we can find the heath-fescue. On the grassy parts can be found the picotee, the black thyme; usually in this region we find sedum, stonecrop and lady's slipper. Among the herbs the most important is the edelweiss, the symbol of the region.
While among the plants the edelweiss is regarded as the symbol of the region, among the animals the chamois. It is a non-native animal, it was populated in 1970 from the Southern Carpathians. At first it lived in the Suhardul Mic, then it spread in thecliffed regions of the Hășmaș mountains. Among the avifauna we have to mention the black swallow and the tichodroma.
2. Wildlife in the forest: the typical species of tree in the region is the spruce. Its continuous and clear substances develope thick, dusky and clammy forests with poor undergrowth. It mixes very frequent with fir and beech-tree, especially in the eastern part of the region. Along the gorge valleys the maple is characteristic.
Among the big bodied animals we have to mention the deer, the roe, the brown bear, the wild-boar, the wolf and the continually rare lynx. Common birds are the jay, the coal-mouse, robin, and the finch.
3. Wildlife in the alpine grasslands and pastures: the grasslands and pastures in the region were formed through human interference. The plant communities appeared by pasturage and by deforestation alludes to this fact. In the marshy fields we find interesting communities, like species of sedge. In spring snowdrops are blooming in the clearings.
Among the representatives of the fauna should be mentioned the pearl-bordered fritillary and the foothill burnet. It is considered as a unique value the Apollo butterfly. Very wide-spread are the mountain lizard and the common viper.
4. Water and waterside wildlife: the surrounding of the Red Lake is suitable for the pondweed and for the sweet-grass to colonise. At the spouty lakeside species of sedge, the water horsetail and the rough bluegrass are characteristic. At the waterside we find the grey alder, the mountain maple and the grey osier.
Important sorts of fish in the surrounding waters are the ferox and the common trout. Among the amphibians native are the alpine newt, the carpathian newt and the bombardier. Important bird species are the water ouzel, the grey wagtail, and from 1994 in the Red Lake nesting garganey.
The richness and the variety of wildlife in the region played and plays also today an important role in the local people's life. Gathering, like an economic activity, bears firstly on wildlife. The variety of the forest fruits, mushrooms and herbs offers useful and pleasant relaxation, touring or even additional income. Among the forest fruits the most important are: raspberry, blueberry and cranberry. The most common herbs are cowslip, centaury, cumin seed and yellow gentian. Among the mushrooms the most common are bolete, chanterelle and saffron milk cap.
Source: Pál T. - Rab J. - Wild F. - Csíki K. kéziratai.