Species of vertebrates


There are 175 species reported. Among the most colorful species we remember the sea Jay, the Hoopoe and the Bee eater. Among the typical birds of the wooded areas there are the green Woodpecker and the Great Spotted Woodpecker. In the meadows we find instead the Skylark, the short-toed Lark and the stone curlew. Among the raptors the most common are the Kestrel and the Buzzard, but during migration it can happen also to observe the Eagle of the snakes, namely the short toed snake eagle, and the Goshawk. In the main wetland, the Capaccio dam, in winter we find many species of ducks, both plunging and surface, as well as cormorants, wild geese and cranes.


The royal Kite

Looking up at the sky can happen to be able to observe in the deep blue, an unmistakable bird, large, with long wings with an opening up to 63 – 67 inches that have the typical “windows” white of the “under-wing”, very evident in flight. These birds glide fast opening and turning now right to the left their forked tail, and then suddenly darting fast with unpredictable beatings with which they dive into the green fields of wheat, to touch them, and then quickly regain the sky.

These wind tamers, considered by many to be the most elegant birds of prey of the old continent, use the ascensional thermal currents with great skill, drawing in the air slow spirals that are lost in the blue, overcoming the bare ridges. They are the royal Kites, once also common in this part of the Daunia mountains but for some time now they have become unfortunately a rare presence. The conservation status of this species, globally, is close to the threat according to the IUCN.

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 2010.



The typical species present is the Bleak. Other species, mostly as a result of questionable input interventions are: the crucian Carp, the european Chub, the Barbel, the sun Perch, the Gambusia (mosquito-fish).



There are 14 species: the common tortoise, the marsh tortoise, the warty gecko, the common gecko, the european green lizard, the rural lizard, the serpent-lizard, the slow-worm, the whip snake, the Saettone (Còlubro of Aesculapius), the four-lined snake, the collar grass snake, the doweled grass snake, the common Viper.



There are 9 certain species to date reported: the Southern crested newt, the italic newt, the apennine bellied toad, the common toad, the emerald toad, the southern tree frog, the agile frog, the appennine frog, the italian green frog. The spotted salamander, once reported for the area, is probably extinct and has not been observed for many years. Recently, however, there have been reports, in nearby areas, about the presence of small spectacled salamander.



Despite the absence of specific studies, in particular on micro-mammals (which include insectivores and rodents) there are more than 20 known species of mammals living in the Celone valley. Among the micro-mammals the least known group is that of Chirotteri (bats), certainly there are several species that frequent both the woods and ruins of Celone valley. Some species of mammals are of regional and national importance such as the wolf, the wildcat, the skunk and the bats. Other more common as: the stone marten, the apennine shrew, the Moscardino (dormouse), the european hare, the boar, etc.


The wolf

A muffled sound of trampled leaves interrupts the repeated singing of the robin, then the silence, and still rustling accompanied by a sudden dry noise of a broken branch that reverberates in the senses, sharpened by the expectation of the imminent new day. The rhythmic breath condenses and fills the space, intense smells cross each other, telling of hares, dogs and men.

It’s time to move along an ancient track, after a stride walk you approach the edge of the forest, a green wall that opens onto the fields… still a moment of prolonged quiet accompanied by the first gusts of wind that pierce the low morning fog, making filter the first rays of the sun and here is a shimmer, two penetrating eyes of an intense brown watch the horizon because any carelessness could cause an early end… the man can strike from a distance with those long pipes from which they hiss out of focus and balls that burn, tear and kill, or a wrong step and powerful sharp metal grips can tear and break bones.

It ‘s time to stop in the thickest spot to rest and wait for the return of the night and only then, protected by the diaphanous lunar light, lonely slender shadows will follow the profiles of the woods and valleys, wandering this land more and more difficult to decipher and understand, where the smells of ancient prey are only an ancestral memory.

There are very few predatory animals, such as the wolf, that have so much intertwined their fate with man, in an often tragic relationship, based on envy for the strength and freedom that this extraordinary social predator enjoys. A relationship full of cruelty and blood at the expense of only one of the contenders: the wolf. This wild canine, in the human imagination, is always poised between positive and negative deities, the wolf bent to the wishes of man and who turns into his best friend, the dog.

The man who bows to the wild nature and turns into a werewolf. The marauder wolf, the silent wolf, the parent wolf and founder, the wolf mirror of the turbulent human soul, the wolf who in all its recondite facets is the symbol of the force of life, but at the same time represents the dark part of the human soul, Homo homini lupus.

Stepping back in time, Zenobio, a greek sophist of the 2nd century a.C., asserted: The wolf is always under accusation, guilty or not.All this hatred of the wolf grew exponentially from the classical age to the modern age. In fact, in the short century, 6 maybe 7 subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus) were hunted until the last specimen. The wolf, despite everything, still manages to be among us in the Daunia mountains and perhaps this miracle can be admirably synthesized by a russian proverb a wolf survives thanks to his feet”.

Vincenzo Rizzi