Parco Lombardo della Valle del Ticino
With its 91,410 hectares, 22,249 of which are a Parco Naturale or nature reserve, the Parco del Ticino is an area of rich biodiversity. The landscape is heavily conditioned by the river and its valley which constitute an environment of great importance and beauty. Alongside the river valley, the irrigation plain and the dry plain lies to the north, with the heathland and drumlins of the foothills stretching as far as Lake Maggiore and Comabbio.
The Parco del Ticino is one of the areas in the Po Valley that can boast a wide variety of animals, including certain species which have died out elsewhere. Mammals include fox, stoat, badger, skunk, weasel, as well as some deer and wild boar. Squirrel and dormouse, wild rabbit and hare are also fairly widespread in the woodlands.
There are 246 different species of birds in the Park: these include many species of waterfowl like the Egret, Purple heron, Grey heron, the Squacco Heron and the Black-crowned Night Heron. The woodlands are home to many Chaffinches, and Woodpeckers, including the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, which is quite rare in Lombardy. There are many diurnal and nocturnal predators like the Hobby, Harris Hawk, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Hen Harrier, Peregrine Falcon and Osprey. The river is teeming with fish: Carp, Pike, Perch, Common rudd, Three-spined stickleback, Grayling, Tench and Trout.