Inhabitants of the Apennines: the wolf and the peregrine falcon

Among the numerous wild inhabitants of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park, the wolf and the peregrine falcon populate the wooded areas and the skies together with other species such as deer, eagle, roe deer, buzzard and vole.

The wolf in the Apennines

le-due-querce-lupo-italianoThe wolf is a carnivorous specimen that feeds mainly on deer, hares, small rodents or wild berries. His body can reach 1.50 m. of length and weight from 25 to 40 Kg. It lives in herds, a family unit composed of a strict hierarchical order in which each individual plays a specific role: at the top is the dominant couple, hereinafter the substitute, the gregarious, the submissive. Together, they collaborate in the vital activities for the herd that are hunting and defending the territory.

The wolf is present on most of the Italian territory since the ’20s, widespread especially in the mountainous areas of the Italian Apennines, where the native species take the name of Lupo Appenninico (Canis lupus italicus). He risked extinction in the 70s. With the hunting forbidden, it has now repopulated all the Apennines and part of the Alps; it is therefore a permanent presence in the Tosco-Emiliano Apennine National Park, although difficult to observe as it has nocturnal habits. It is frequent, however, to hear his howl at nightfall.

The peregrine falcon

The peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), is a bird with a tapered body and large pointed wings that can reach an opening of about one meter. The structure of the body allows him great ability and speed in flight so as to be considered the fastest animal in nature, especially when it swoops on the prey: it can reach 320 km/h.

It owes its name to the particular plumage on the head whose color recalls the dark headdress worn by the pilgrims of the Middle Ages, during the long journeys undertaken from all over Europe towards devotional destinations.

It is present among the faunal species of the Tosco-Emiliano Appennine National Park, since it is a sedentary species that nests among the rocks, preferring ridges that reach 1500 meters in height. It is widespread throughout the Apennines as well as in areas of the alpine arch. It prefers open places, so it is easy to spot while circling in the sky or launches at high speed on the prey to graze it in its claws and take it to the nest in flight.

It is considered a great predator, it feeds on birds and sometimes small terrestrial mammals, bats and insects. The verse is similar to a rather varied scream, characterized by acute references, pops and prolonged peeps.