National park Untamed nature – man’s challenge

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Each year over 150,000 people visit the Swiss National Park at the Ofenpass or “Oven pass”, where kilns were once set up for smelting iron ore. For 100 years now nature has been left to itself. It is not always easy to keep things this way.

A hike through the park with Flurin Filli, head of operations and monitoring, begins in the Val dal Botsch (Buck’s Valley).

Filli is a zoologist by profession, and as the former head of the research department here, he knows the Swiss National Park in his native canton Graubünden like the back of his hand.

On a hike through part of this unique natural landscape in the Lower Engadine region, he explains how the National Park deals with the challenges and problems arising when nature is left free of human intervention.

For example the Spöl, the main river flowing through the National Park, is dammed on its upper reaches to provide electricity. At the Easter weekend in 2013 a mishap at the dam led to silting up of the river; thousands of fish and other animals died.

(Text and sound by Christian Raaflaub, photos by Rolf Amiet,; production: Daniel Wihler)