General Information

Fauna and Habitat - Part 2

The silver-fir and beech forests of the valley floor are inhabited by an extremely rare species:  the forest dormouse (Dryomys nitedula). In forest stands of larch and spruce, sometimes extended uninterrupted for tens of kilometers, rare and endangered species find shelter. They include capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) , grey-headed woodpecker (Picus canus), pygmy owl (Glaucidium passerinum) and the boreal owl (Aegolius funereus).

The steep, sunny meadowlands of the south facing slopes (Ròzes, Lerósa, Zumèles)  are important wintering environments for the non-migratory species. These slopes are rich in fauna and host the rare rock partridge (Alectoris graeca). The animals which symbolize the meadowlands at high altitude are the mountain hare (Lepus timidus) and the ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) as well as the ibex (Capra ibex), which has already resettled here for over three decades and is subject of a specific repopulation plan. The Ampezzo mountains also host concentrations of chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) which are among the highest in all the Dolomites; these animals can be counted in thousands. 

The sheltered slopes at lower altitudes are very favourable habitats for the fauna. The rarest and most imposing inhabitant of the gorges is the eagle owl (Bubo bubo), while the golden eagle (Aquila chrisaetos) and wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria) nest on the sunny cliffs.  In the calcareous meadows of Fòses Karst uplands, the passage of the eurasian dotterel (Charadrius morinellus) may be spotted in late summer.

The rich fauna resulting from the complex mosaic of hay meadows and wet lands at mid-altitude and on the valley floor is also valuable, even if many of its aspects are still little known. The meadows of Cortina record an exceptional emergency, that of the corncrake (Crex crex) which is now present in Italy with fewer than 500 nestling pairs. There is also the red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio), which testifies to the importance of low-impact agricultural management.



Part 1


Part 2