Etna has always been the natural habitat of many animal species: in the 19th century it was possible to meet wild boears, wolves, fallow deer, otters, all species that today it is no longer possible to find. But it has anyway a very important fauna.
Over the centuries human action and increasing industrialization have changed and even upset the natural habitat: the cutting of forests, the use of pesticides, increasingly aggressive tourism, the creation of roads, houses and the increasing use of motor vehicles are among the most significant examples of what caused the disappearance of these animal species. Moreover the fauna of Etna suffers the natural events related to the life of the volcano that often causes the destruction of some parts of the territory with the consequent disappearance of animal species. Despite this, however, in the territory of Etna it is still possible to find unique animal species.
The fauna of the park of Etna consists of:
REPTILES: in the most humid environments there are two species of geckos, including the tarantula muraiola. Then there is the lizard, the country lizard and the gongilo. Among the snakes live on Mount Etna, the white snake, the strut, the snake collar and the common viper.
ANFIBI: at lower altitudes of the Etnean territory where there are aquatic environments you could meet the toad, the lesser green frog and the emerald toad;
BIRDS: there are many species of birds and those present on Etna represent half of the species observed in Sicily. Among the many we remember: the sparrow hawk, the buzzard, the golden eagle, the barn owl, the tawny owl, the great red woodpecker, the magpie, the grey crow, the woodpecker and the jay.
MAMMALS: among these, there are rare or difficult to observe species. We find insectivores such as hedgehogs, rodents including the dormouse, the black rat and porcupine, carnivores whose best known example is the fox. Then there are the rabbit, the hare and the wild cat.
Finally, there are numerous species of butterflies: among these, we remember especially the “Aurora dell’Etna”.
It could be possible to meet some of these animals taking part to our tours.. let’s try!