The best known of Oltenia mountains occupy, with all related Mountains, 1000 square kilometers and, by 2518 m altitude, Great Parâng lies on the 2ndaltitudional place in the Romanian Carpathians.
It is characterized also through numerous valleys and glacial cirques, means of access being more numerous then in other mountains of Oltenia. As rarities in Parâng , we can remember edelweiss or albumela, yellow ghintura (Gentiana Rutea), larch tree.
In Parâng Natural Reserve (31,260 sqm) around Gâlcescu lake are also met: black goat, smardan or rose, mountain trout, raven.
In these mountains, valleys and glacial cirques are common in this area forming a chain of many lakes, including Galcescu, which is at the foot of Setea Mare Mountain.
NATURAL FRAME WITH FLORA, FAUNA AND SPECIFIC RELIEF
Attraction points of the touristic zone are:
• spectacular landforms, specific mountain area, of great landscape attraction that is characterized by high altitude peaks, ridges, glacial relief items (glacial buckets, scree slope, marbles). The natural frame of the area falls within the tourism potential picture with great complexity, diversity and landscaping attractiveness, being reflected in it’s structure and value.
• climatic potential of Novaci administrative territory, characterized by a mountain and sub-mountain specific, with fresh air, highly ionized, free of dust and allergens, recommended for rest, recreation, and re-shaping the body is another distinctive mark of the area .
Parâng mountains faunais similar to the one of the Southern Carpathian mountains, with some specific aspects of Oltenia and Banat Northwest. Some species of the typical Mediterranean fauna make their presence felt on the south side of Parâng: horned viper, tortoise, praying mantis, etc. Also included are the rare lammergeier, passing through Macedonian and Balkan mountains, up to the boilers of Gemanarea, Roşiile, Dereş and Gauri. Among the specific animals of the alpine and sub-alpine zone, Parâng protects the black goat, with the effective increasing in Gaura, Dereşul, Roşiile, Slivei and Mija areas, migrated from the Lotrului mountains.
Other animal species are: bear, fox, wild cat, gray pars, lynx, etc. In rocky alpine peaks the relevant birds that nest are: golden eagle and raven, and the animals that inhabit the stretched forests of Parâng are the deer and the stag.
Among birds, beech and spruce forests protect: mountain woodpeckers, finches, jays, etc. In meadows near the openings, lives: capercaillie, hazel grouse and many other species. In the rocks of Mândrei hides slip bucket rock, a bird with vivid colors, revealed only during flight. The waters of the mountain lakes (such as Lake Roşiile and Lake Galcescu) have long been the haunt of native trout, Galcescu lake being the only naturally inhabited with trout. Through the efforts of forest rangers the next lakes have been populated with trout: Latoriţ, Setea Mare, Dereş, Roşiile, Mija, Mândra, Green Lake, Jieţ, Superior Gilort, Superior Olteţ, Superior Lotru, which are also a paradise for trout seeking anglers.
Parâng mountains vegetation and flora
Parâng mountains vegetation and flora have a natural setting depending on climatic zones.
Deciduous forest areas (500-1400 m) on the southern slopes and at 500-1200m altitude, on the northern slopes are predominantly composed of oak (Quercus robur) and hornbeam (Carpinus belutus) and at the bottom of the beech floor (Fagus sylvatica), mountain ash (Fraxinus ornus) and birch (Betula verrucosa).
In meadows, along with fescue (Agrostis tennuis), often appears wild gladioli (Gladiolus imbricatus) or the insectivorous plant dew of heaven (Drosera rotundifolia), which loves wet places. In shady and humid places clumps of ferns stretch (Drosera rotundifolia).
Spruce (Picea abies) zone is in small places on the southern slopes (1200-1800 m alt.) and much more extended on the northern (1000-1750 m alt.). In sheltered valleys, the fir is spread (Abies alba). In Latoriţ valley is protected a beautiful package of larch (Larix deciduas). Spruce meadows area is mostly covered with spiky (Nardus damage) and red fescue (Festuca Ruba). Near Rânca lodge can be found whole areas of herbs, among which are pasta (Anemone ranunculoides), the Easter flower (Anemone nemorosa) and the lung (Pulmonaria officinalis).
In Rânca there is an experimental center belonging to the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Craiova, designed to help restore degraded mountain pastures by increasing the green mass quality and improving the soil quality, taking into account the changing of the grasslands fluoristice composition. These experiments are done on an area of 5 ha, land rented to the University of Craiova by Novaci City Hall.
The locating of the center in Rânca is due to several years of experiments undertaken by University of Craiova in this area, having in attention that the natural grasslands on Parâng Mountains sum an area of about 12,000 ha.
Grasslands of Pleşcoaia, Dalban and Cătălinul mountains are covered with fescue and spiky. In clearings and meadows we meet peat moss (Sphagnum acutifolium), cotton (Erioforul vaginatum), fern, sorrel rabbit (Oxalis acestosella), wood lily (Lilium margaton) and bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillius).
The opening of the mountain (1750-2159 m alt.) is occupied by subalpine and alpine meadows and often, especially on the northern flanks, by scree and rocks. In this area, herbaceous plants predominate: spiky, fescue, grass lambs.
The beauty of the places is enhanced by vigorous juniper shrubs (oinus mugho), mirthifolius, bilberry, cranberry.
Large juniper trees, true plant dams between forests and alpine holes, are sized down on the steps of Mija, Slivei, Roşiile, on Ciban mount or on Rus Mica coast, in Zănoaga Verde, on Galcescu bucket. Here, juniper was less damaged, but not the same can be said about Muntinului coasts and mountain slopes of Iezerul Latoriţei, where the juniper trees destruction brought the sites in a deplorable state.
On the heights of Iezerul, Mohorul and Pietrei Tăiate, heights, the dwarf plants display their beauty: Eye hen and tansy.
Besides the wealth of rhododendron and juniper trees, that dress the rocks and protect the grasslands near Galcescu, Păsări and Setea Mare lakes, still grows the angelic roar plant, and at the limestone of Găurii Mount, appears edelweiss.