Flora and Fauna in Italy

Nature paradise with flaws

Three evergreen plant species dominate most of the landscape of Italy: the holly, pine and cork oak. In the various regions, there grow many additional species of plants. The Italian peninsula has been inhabited by humans for a long time and has been changed accordingly. The original vegetation as well as almost all wild animal species were wiped out and replaced by crops and livestock. Despite this apparent shortcoming, Italy has preserved its appeal for visitors and sparkles with olive groves, vineyards and natural parks.

Flora of Italy

Due to the long phase of settlement of the Italian peninsula and the strong Roman high culture, the natural vegetation and forests in Italy were destroyed very early. Crops, pastures and vineyards replaced the natural vegetation. Nevertheless, one of the hallmarks of today's Italy was established by man - who could imagine Tuscany without olive groves, cypresses, pines and vineyards. A textbook example of an idyllic landscape - but shaped by man. Besides the three plant species that are found nearly everywhere in Italy (holly, cork oak and pine), original species of vegetation have been preserved mainly in the more remote border areas.

Fauna of Italy

As it was the case with the plants, the wild animals in Italy were almost entirely eradicated. Today, only in isolated enclaves and natural parks, native animals such as eagles, ibex, chamois, bears, wolves and marmots can be found. In limited numbers, bears and wolves live now in the wild again - many of them have migrated from neighbouring Slovenia. However, the stocks develop very slowly and are not always welcome.

On the coasts occasionally swordfish and dolphins can be spotted. Even rare species of birds and seals are now back to Italy. Overall, the protection of endangered animals begins to emerge slowly, and as in many other European countries, originally native animals get another chance to settle.

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