Animals in the Park

Over 6000 species

The Maritime Alps host an exceptional concentration of animal and plant species in a relatively small area: the number of animal species present is estimated at about 6000, and continues to grow with the discovery of new entities belonging to less spectacular groups, such as Arthropods (including spiders and shrimps, among others). Of the 90 species of Central European Mammals, 55 are found in the Maritime Alps, including 20 species of the Chiroptera order, or bats. Typically alpine species such as the ibex (Capra ibex), the mountain hare (Lepus timidus), the ermine (Mustela erminea) and the snow vole (Chionomys nivalis) are found in the Park alongside species characteristic of the Mediterranean environment or the plains, such as the garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus), the wild boar (Sus scrofa) and the mouflon (Ovis musimon), each one finding a congenial habitat.

200 bird species have been observed in the various Park environments, woods or rock faces, lakes or alpine meadows, scree or scrubland, of these over a hundred nest here: from the majestic golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) to the small dipper (Cinclus cinclus), from the elusive white ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) to the wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria).

The reptile (8) and amphibian (4) species are relatively numerous for an alpine environment, thanks to the influence of the mild marine climate. One can truly say that few European protected areas can boast a quantity and a variety of animal species comparable to that of the Maritime Alps Nature Park.

Ungulates

The Maritime Alps Park is home to all six species of ungulates found in the Alps: in addition to chamois, ibex and roe deer, there are also wild boar, deer and mouflon.

Chamois

Once the king's favourite quarry, today the chamois is the Park's symbol. The only ungulate that has always been present in the Park.

Wolf

Wolves, one of Europe's greatest predators. Deliberately eradicated from the Alps at the beginning of the twentieth century, over the last twenty years they have recovered lost ground.

Mustelids

Of the seven carnivore species in the Park, five are mustelids, from the stout badger to the invisible beech marten and the agile ermine.

Otter

Otters were a fundamental part of alpine river ecosystems. They were found in the Marittime area until a few decades ago, then became extinct. A natural return could be around the corner.

Bats

Bats are the only mammals that can perform active flight. Twenty of the thirty known Italian bat species have been found in the protected area, including the lesser horseshoe bat.

Other mammals in the Park

Besides the six species of ungulates and the twenty species of bats, there are around thirty other species of mammal in the protected area from better to less well-known species.

Birds

From 1906 to date at least 200 bird species have been counted in the Park and immediate surroundings.

Reptiles

There are eight species of reptile in the Park, from common wall lizards to the rare smooth snake, including vipers, the scary sunbathers.

Amphibians

The waterways and lakes in these mountains are inhabited by four species of amphibians, two from the anura order (without tails) and two urodela (with tails). Let's find out what they are!

Fish

There is not a great variety of fish species in the Park, and the natural population was altered a long time ago, but things have changed in recent years...

Invertebrates

Although we rarely realise it, the world belongs to invertebrates, countless species and an incalculable number of individuals.