Wild Animals in Italy: the Central Regions

An interesting fact on Italy is the variety and abundance of wild animals in Italy central regions.

All along the Italian boot are the Apennines mountains, they stretch for 1000 km. and form a kind of backbone of the peninsula.

The central Apennines are the most extensive part and include the highest peak, the Gran Sasso that reaches 2912 m. of height. This mountain range is mostly green, wooded and scarcely populated.

A vast web of parks and natural reserves have been created to protect wild animals in Italy.

It might come as a surprise that, despite the hunting, fires and human encroaching, the Apennines of the central regions of Italy are still home to the wolf, the bear and the wild cat.

Actually in these last years the efforts of wildlife protection organizations were rather successful and the wild animals population seems to be thriving.

These are some of the animals protected in the natural reserves of central Italy.

WWF - Grey Wolf
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Wolf - Lupo - Canis lupus

In the ‘70 the protection program of the wild deer saved the wolf population that was down to 100 individuals.

Now the wolf population is estimated in 500 individuals spread all along the Apennine mountains.

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Bear - Orso Bruno Marsicano - Ursus arctos marsicanus

The estimated bear population is of 40-60 individual located mainly in the Gran Sasso, Maiella and Sibillini mountains.

The orso bruno marsicano is smaller than his American relatives.

A male can weight up to 130 kg. and can reach 1,9 m.

European Wild Cat, Felis Sylvestris
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Wild Cat - Gatto selvatico - Felis sylvestris

The nocturnal and elusive wild cat can be up to 80 cm. plus a 35 cm. of tail.

Is a shy and solitary specie that preys on rodents, birds and insects.

Wild Boar in Winter (Sus Scrofa), Europe
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Boar - Cinghiale - Sus scrofa

Wild version of the pig, is extremely common in Italian central regions.

Boars live in big groups of up to 50 animals. They are omnivorous, the males can reach 250 kg. and often display an remarkably grumpy temperament.

Other mammals often found in this region are the weasel, the otter, the deer, the marten and the badger.

Birds of Prey II
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Monte Conero and Monte San Bartolo in Le Marche region have a varied bird population and they are privileged observation spots during the spring migration of birds of prey.

The falco pecchiaiolo (Pernis apivorus) can be spotted on the Monte Conero between March and May on his way back from Africa to Northern Europe.

The peregrine falcon is a common sight in this area and some eagles also are present on the territory of the central regions of Italy.

Did you know that there are 14 recognized Italian dog breeds. Click on the link to find out about them.

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Elda Rita Tessadori, EzineArticles.com Platinum Author

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