Eurotestudo hermanni - Hermann’s tortoise
Included in appendix II and IV of the Habitats Directive 92/42/CEE, Hermann’s Tortoise usually occupies Mediterranean maquis and thermophilic wood environments, altough it is also adapted to degraded agricultural fields and bush. It can be found across the entire southern Europe.
In Greece, Hermann's tortoise is listed as Vulnerable because, despite its wide distribution, it faces a broad range of threats and most populations are declining. Threats include intesification of lowland agriculture, exurban development, forest fires and collection for trading.
In Italy, it occupies a wide variety of dry habitats, predominantly in central Italy, along the coast of the Thyrranean Sea. It is signaled in 368 plots of which 89% are located in the Mediterranean Region, and with a conservation status that is classified as U1 and trend “in worsening” (ISPRA Reports 194/2014). Lazio, together with Tuscany, hosts the main populations of the Italian peninsula. The tortoise is classified as Endangered both in the “Regional Red List of Amphibians and Reptiles of Lazio” and in the National Red List. Within the Lazio territory, the highest frequency is observed along coastal and subcoastal environments constituted of leaf trees or maquis. More than 85% of the total notifications have been signaled along the coastline of Rome and Viterbo, whereas in the rest of the region the Hermann’s tortoise is sparely represented by rare populations that are very isolated from each other.
Emys orbicularis - European pond turtle
Included in Annexes II and IV of the Habitat Directive 92/42/CEE, and present in Annex II of the Berne Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats in Europa, the European pond turtle mostly occupies aquatic environments such as ponds, swamps, marshes, small lakes and water bodies, channels, rivers flowing slowly and rich in vegetation. It is usually considered a semiaquatic species with terrestrial attitudes which can involve distances up to 1.000 meters from the water. It is present in South and Eastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa.
In Greece, it is classified as Near Threatened and in the Nestos Delta it occurs in many wet areas. In Italy, it is recorded in 539 sample plots of which 46% are located in the Mediterranean Region and the rest in the Continental one, with a conservation status that is classified as U1 and a trend “in worsening” (ISPRA R. 194/2014). It occurs no higher than 500 m above sea level, with a prevailing presence in the floodplains. Both on the National Red List and the “Regional Red List of Amphibians and Reptiles of Lazio” it is classified as Endangered. In the Lazio Region, the populations of the European pond turtle have suffered a strong contraction after the extensive reclaiming interventions of the past century. Currently, the highest number of observations are recorded in the provinces of Viterbo, Latina and Rome, where it occurs in different protected areas as well as in some urban green areas.
Callimorpha (Euplagia) quadripunctaria* - Jersey tiger
Priority conservation species listed in appendix II of the Habitat Directive 92/42/CEE. Although its conservation status is defined as Favourable it is probable that the decline of the forest habitats have compromised its presence in Palo Laziale.
Phasianus colchicus colchicus - Black-necked Pheasant
The Nestos Delta hosts the last pure wild population of Black-necked Pheasant in Europe, a remnant closely related to wild populations in its natural range in central Asia. Phasianus c. colchicus is listed in Red Data Book of Threatened Vertebrates of Greece as Critically Endangered and the population is estimated at 100-250 individuals. Threats include illegal hunting, loss of habitat through expansion of agricultural activities and overgrazing, as well as loss of openings in woody vegetation because of the increase of shrubs and herbaceous plants. In Nestos, the area occupied by the temporary ponds falls within a high-density area of Pheasants, and they have been frequently observed around the ponds. Possibly they are dependent on the ponds for drinking, foraging and may even use them as display grounds.