In Trebbia Valley has seen a gradual faunal
repopulation, as well as the whole Apennine area has. The
fauna increasing is probably related to the demografic decreasing
that has totally decimated the number of human presences,
especially in the higher and hardly accessible zones.Proximity
to human beings has always been a danger for wild fauna and
not only for the species men hunt. Men have been modifying
the territory causing a reduction of the available space
for animal wildlife. Also the vegetable coverage has been
reduced due to get pastures for cattle, cultivations on slopes
exposed to the sun and, possibly high woods instead of coppices.
In coppice woods, as well as chestnut and beechwood woods,
the growth of only one kind of tree was favoured through
continuous cleaning and cutting.
Today the territory is changing quickly.
Listening to what inhabitants say about our villages
let us understand how many changes have occurred:
ample pastures and ample cultivated zones had been
taken away from the wood that today is regaining
what belonged to it.
This return to a "natural" and spontaneous
habitat has certainly a strong effect on the animal
population. The number of species has grown , although
we need to wait longer to get certain and significant
data. There is the possibility of a natural restocking
of species once disappeared as is the case of the wild
boar. It was on our mountains up to the '700 and it disappeared
after merciless hunting. The restocking initiated a few
years ago, from the extreme western regions of Liguria
and from the South of France. Nowadays its presence is
wide and the animal is hunted for many months of the
The presence of the wolf was pointed out until 1850.
Its disappearance coincided with the period in which
these zones had to bear the biggest demographic weight,
in the second half of last century.
Before that era we have a few news about the fauna that
populated this area.
Among the birds, belonging
to the family of the predatory, one can find the buzzard
(Buteo buteo) pften perched on trees close to the wood
borders, the kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) that you can
observe for a long time, by the fast wingbeat, motionless
in the sky. Also one can find the sparrow-hawk (Accipiter
nisus) and the pern (Pernis apivorus). Jays are numerous,
often with a fruit of oak in their beak, darting fast.
Near watercoursed the most frequent species are the
dipper (Cinclus cinclus), the killdeer (Charadrius
dubius), the white wagtail and yellow wagtail (Motacilla
alba and Motacilla flava) and the kingfisher (Alcedo
atthis). Specimens of red grouse (Alectoris rufa) are
decreasing because of the progressive lack of cultivable
areas. The green woodpeckers (Picus viridis) are numerous.
Among the mammals
of bigger size, we have had the restocking of fallow
deer (Dame dame), along with the wild boar, and in
certain zones the roes are restocking too (Capreolus
capreolus). There are also the fox (Canis vulpes),
the badger (Meles
meles), the beech-marten (Martes foina) and the weasel
(Mustela nivalis). The squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris),
the dormouse (Glis glis) and the dormouse (Muscardinus
avellinarius) are typical inhabitant of the woods.
More uncertain is the polecat presence (Putorius putorius)
while at night one can easily encounter the hare (Lepus
Clean and still watercourses are populated
by the fario trout (Salmo trutta fario) and by the “vairone” (Telestes
souffia muticellus) that, even more than trouts, prefers
clear and not polluted waters. Towards the valley, where
water draft is less impetuous, the barbels (Barbus
plebejus) and the chubs (Leuciscus genei) abound.
The amphibians are often unnoticed or not taken into consideration,
reason being they live in hardly-accessible places, they
are not pleasant at sight and they are quite rare. Actually
their shapes and colours are extremely interesting, sometimes
gorgeous. Other rare animals are the Appennine
newt (Triturus alpestris apuanus), the salamander (Salamandra
salamandra), the spectacled little salamander (Salamandrina
terdigitata), the geonewt (Hydromantes italicus), an endemism
of Northern Appennine. Among anoura, typical of mountainous
areas are the Appennine frog (Rana Greca) and the mountain
frog (Rana temporaria) that lives at an altitude higher
than 1200 mt. The Appennine frog has its extreme northern
widespread limit in this area.
Among the reptiles, besides the common viper (Viper aspis),
a non common species has been pointed out, the viper
snake (Natrix maura).
The future will perhaps reserve us some surprises, some other
species could appear and , in a recovered natural habitat,
some other might come back to these places.
the volume "An island on the mountains" by Fabrizio
Capecchi, Croma Edizioni 1990)