Abruzzo is highly regarded as a true wildlife sanctuary and natural wonder. The region is home to a highly diversified ecosystem, which hosts over 75% of animal species currently living in Europe! Abruzzo also has a great coastline on the Adriatic Sea, and it also features the Appennini mountains, where you will be able to find Europe’s southernmost glaciers. Inland, there is also a enormous plateau, known as Gran Sasso. The diverse ecosystem in Abruzzo arguably allows a fairly eclectic wildlife selection to thrive. Thankfully, the state boasts many protected areas and natural parks, with over a third of the territory in the region being protected areas for wildlife and natural conservation. Some of the more well-known animals that roam the wild lands of Abruzzo are Marsican brown bears, golden eagles and Appenine wolves.
There has recently been a lot of discussion concerning the local bear population, which is currently at risk of facing extinction, due to the reduction of their natural habitat and the strong incidence of roadkill. The local government, as well as many environment-friendly organisations, are hoping to raise awareness and engage the public and the media, to help maintain the bear population. According to sources, there are currently 30 to 50 Marsican brown bears, currently located in Abruzzo’s national park. These bears are extremely elusive and shy, and very difficult to spot, so accounting for an exact number can be difficult. The local population of wolves is currently in a similar situation. There seems to be about 30 to 50 Appenine wolves left, and as with the bear, they remain fairly difficult to spot. In addition to eagles, wolves and bears, Abruzzo is home to hundreds of indigenous species of mammals, birds and other animals, including deer, hedgehogs, badgers, marmots and goats. The bird population is also quite diverse, with various types of eagles and hawks flying high in the local skies. There are also many rare wood-dwelling birds, such as the white-backed woodpecker. Abruzzo’s wilderness is also well-known for its diverse flora, including its many species of wild orchids, growing at different altitudes and in different environmental conditions.
If you are interested in learning more about the local wildlife and flora, it is actually possible to go on various excursions through the parks of the region, and possibly spot some of these rare and beautiful animals. For a more comfortable experience, there are many excellent sources in the region, such as the excellent natural history museum of Pescasseroli, which has some great resources and information concerning the history of local wildlife and more.