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Fauna

The Contrafforte’s rocky bastions are home to some of the most important wildlife species in the reserve. They represented one of the few places of refuge for the peregrine falcon even during the species’ most critical period, which lasted up until the late 1980s.

Another rare raptor that nests on the steep slopes is the lanner falcon.

The wallcreeper arrives in winter, abandoning the mountainous areas for these hilly cliffs.

Groups of alpine swifts form small colonies in the more remote areas.

The ortolan bunting and the tawny pipit, two small birds typically found in shrubs and sunny meadows, populate the southern slopes and the upper areas of the Contrafforte, which are also inhabited by various reptiles, including the European green lizard, three-toed skink and Riccioli’s snake.

The reserve’s forests, especially those along the northern slopes, are populated by roe deer, wild boars and other upland mammals, including various species of forest bats.

Bird species include the European honey buzzard, Eurasian wryneck and European nightjar.

One of the reptiles found in the reserve is the Aesculapian snake, which easily climbs up shrubs and trees in search of bird eggs and nestlings.

A particularly important presence is that of the spectacled salamander, a rare amphibian that lives in holes in the undergrowth near streams or in other cool and humid environments.

Among the invertebrates, the reserve includes two indicator species; the stag beetle and the freshwater crayfish.