Wildlife of Italy

Italy has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in Europe with over 57,000 species recorded (more than a third of all European wildlife).

This is because of Italy’s:

  • Southerly geographical position, surrounded by the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. There is 8,000 km of coastline and the Italian peninsula is in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, forming a corridor between central Europe and North Africa. Italy also receives species from the Balkans, Eurasia, the Middle East.
  • Varied geological structure.
  • High mountain ranges , especially the Alps and the Apennines.
  • Climate and habitat diversity – very broadly Alpine in the North, woodlands and river systems in Central Italy and Garigue (the Italian word is Gariga) and Maquis shrubland (in Italian, Macchia mediterranea) in the South.
  • High plant diversity (9,000 species – half Europe’s total). Wikipedia Italian Fauna

According to Wikipedia on Italian wildlife

Italy is one of the richest countries in Europe and in the Mediterranean basin in terms of species biodiversity. Traditionally it was estimated to comprise about 5,500 vascular plant species. However, as of 2004, 6,759 species are recorded in the Data bank of Italian vascular flora.(9,000 plant species if non-vascular species are included, half Europe’s total). The nation has one of the highest levels of faunal biodiversity in Europe with over 57,000 species recorded (more than a third of all European fauna). This is due to Italy’s Southerly geographical position, surrounded by the Mediterranean sea. There are 8,000 km of coastline and the peninsula is in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, forming a corridor between central Europe and North Africa. Italy also receives species from the Balkans, Eurasia and the Middle East.

Italian otters Are otters making their way back into Italy?

Living Treasures Italy

Mammals unique to Italy include the Corsican Hare (agraria.org), the Sardinian Long-eared Bat (pipistrellisardegna.org), the Apennine Shrew (ERMESAmbiente), the Udine Shrew (Life Friuli Fens), and the Calabria Pine Vole (IUCN Red List).

Endemic reptiles include the Aeolian Wall Lizard (Amphibians and Reptiles of Europe), the Sicilian Wall Lizard (Amphibians and Reptiles of Europe), the Italian Aesculapian Snake (Amphibians and Reptiles of Europe), and the recently described Sicilian Pond Turtle Emys tinacris (RiserveEnna).

Wild and woolly with Sardinia’s shepherds (The Guardian)

There’s only one way to see Sardinia’s wild interior, and that’s with the shepherds who tread its ancient trails

Flora of Italy – Wikipedia

The flora of Italy is the richest (sic) in Europe. Traditionally it was estimated to comprise about 5,500 vascular plant species. However, as of 2004, 6,759 species are recorded in the Data bank of Italian vascular flora.. About 700 of them are endemic to the country. Geobotanically, the Italian flora is shared between the Circumboreal Region and Mediterranean Region. According to the index compiled by the Italian Ministry for the Environment in 2001, 274 vascular plant species are protected

Wildlife holidays in Italy Wildlife holidays in Italy include a group tour to see whales and dolphins in the Ligurian Sea between Italy, France and Corsica.