In Castelporziano Forest

A visual account of the richness of animal biodiversity maintained within the Presidential Estate of Castelporziano, a nature reserve within the Rome metropolitan area


Marten, Castelporziano Presidential EstateQuirinale Palace

The European Pine Marten

A pine marten (Martes martes) looks out over a natural pool to follow the movements of potential prey.

This small carnivore has retractable claws, which enable it to climb trees and move nimbly between branches, although it also moves quickly on the ground.

Boar, Castelporziano Presidential EstateQuirinale Palace

The Wild Boar

“Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but there is much more within a wild boar than it may seem!”

Three young wild boar (Sus scrofa) drink at a pool that is slowly drying up in the hot summer.

The streaked coloration of the fur, which remains until around four to five months of age, enables them to blend in with the dry undergrowth.

Fox, Castelporziano Presidential EstateQuirinale Palace

The Fox

A fox (Vulpes vulpes) watches over the surrounding grassland.

It is a highly successful species, able to make use of the resources provided by the most diverse habitats, from the Arctic tundra to deserts, and to cities.

Foxes actively prey upon hares and fawns, and also feed on carrion, roadkill, human waste, fruit, and insects, demonstrating great adaptability to the various ecological conditions they find themselves facing.

Jay bird, Castelporziano Presidential EstateQuirinale Palace

The Eurasian Jay

A Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius) approaches a pool to have a drink.

The jay is particularly intelligent and is well known for its ability to imitate the songs and calls of other species.

In fact, it is practically impossible to distinguish its true identity unless one manages to see it among the branches.

However, it is potential prey for owls and other raptors, such as sparrow hawks and peregrine falcons, which are present on the Estate.

Italian roe deer, Castelporziano Presidential EstateQuirinale Palace

The Roe Deer

A young male Italian roe deer (Capreolus capreolus italicus) observes its surroundings carefully.

Roe deer are particularly sensitive to external stimuli and spend a lot of their time checking the environment around them in order to quickly identify any sources of disturbance, to which they respond with extreme speed.

Italian hare, Castelporziano Presidential EstateQuirinale Palace

The Hare

A nimble Italian hare (Lepus corsicanus) races away from possible danger.

This species is a little smaller than the European hare and has ears, a body, and hind feet that are proportionally longer.

These characteristics would appear to improve its capacities for thermo-regulation and adaptation to Mediterranean environments.

Badger, Castelporziano Presidential EstateQuirinale Palace

The European Badger

A European badger (Meles meles), taken from a distance, comes closer as it moves over grassland.

It has a thickset body and short, sturdy legs, adapted for digging. They can build very extensive burrows, labyrinths with many exits (up to 50), and many rooms, which are always kept clean and are handed down through the generations.

Turtle dove, Castelporziano Presidential EstateQuirinale Palace

The European Turtle Dove

A forest turtle dove (Streptotelia turtur) rests, half-hidden within the foliage of a large oak tree.

This migratory species, of shy and watchful disposition, is considered to be at risk of extinction within nature: it has undergone a rapid decline throughout the whole of Europe, and the Castelporziano Estate presents a suitable and safe environment where it can reproduce, spend the summer, and prepare for its long migration.

Black kite, Castelporziano Presidential EstateQuirinale Palace

The Black Kite

A black kite (Milvus migrans) scours its territory in search of possible prey.

The black kite is a migratory raptor, which favors staying close to wetlands and has found in the Castelporziano Estate an important nesting area.

It has a diversified diet, and it does not reject carrion and waste.

Fallow deer, Castelporziano Presidential EstateQuirinale Palace

The Fallow Deer

A female fallow deer (Dama dama) and its young carefully examine their environment before continuing with their activities.

The color of the fur (known as the coat) is generally light brown, with small white patches on the dorsal area, but it can vary from very dark brown to very light beige, and even milky white. This is evidence of the human manipulation. (For centuries, the fallow deer was one of the most important ornamental species within gardens and parks throughout the whole of Europe.)

Deer, Castelporziano Presidential EstateQuirinale Palace

The Red Deer

A red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the thick of the forest of Castelporziano.

The current population derives from the reintroduction of animals originating from Mandria Regional Park (TO), which took place after the war.

Despite their considerable size, red deer remain in the thick of the woods for most of the year, and it can be quite difficult to spot them on the Estate.

Credits: Story

With thanks to the National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), and in particular the photographers Alessandro Calabrese and Ivan Consalvo.

Credits: All media
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