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Transhumanz - The sheep migration

Migration of the sheep - South Tyrol

The inhabitants of the Senales Valley are firmly rooted to their ancestral land, as well as to its numerous traditions. Perhaps the most spectacular of these is the annual centuries-old transhumance of sheep. In mid-June every year, a huge flock of about 3,700 sheep and a small herd of 300 goats is led out from the Senales and Vinschgau valleys over the Hochjoch (2,857 m) and the Niederjoch (3,019m) mountains to the summer pastures in the Vent Valley across the border in neighbouring Austria. Working with their sheepdogs, the shepherds and herdsmen watch over the livestock as they migrate over more than 44 km on a two-day journey on foot over steep rocky paths, snowfields, rocky outcrops and glaciers. In mid-September, the reverse migration takes place with the animals generally returning in much improved condition. At its conclusion, the locals and numerous tourists join the herdsmen and shepherds in the celebrations with much fanfare.


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