Riserva Naturale Provinciale Stagni della Vela - Soprasasso

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Monte Soprasasso (photo by Andrea Sgarbossa)
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Monte Soprasasso (photo by Andrea Sgarbossa)

The reserve is located north of Trento, near the city; its characteristics are the small man-made ponds (disused gravel quarries), the inaccessible rock faces of Mount Soprasasso, that overhang the Adige Valley, and the mountain slopes, formed by debris that vegetation has colonised. The ponds are fundamental for the reproduction of many reptiles and amphibians: the European green toad (Bufo viridis), the agile frog (Rana dalmatina), the yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata), the Italian tree frog (Hyla intermedia), and the edible frog (Pelophylax esculentus). Being vertical, the rock faces of Mount Soprasasso are home to no vegetation, except for ledge areas. On the other hand, they are quite interesting from the point of view of fauna, as they shelter several birds of prey, both diurnal and nocturnal: golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), buzzard (Buteo buteo), honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), and black kite (Milvus migrans) among the diurnal ones; long-eared owl (Asio otus) and tawny owl (Strix aluco) among the nocturnal ones. The kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), which finds food in the ponds, and the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum), which is protected at European level and lives in caves and caverns, are also worth mentioning. Shrubs have colonised the slopes of Soprasasso, where Phyllitis scolopendrium, Taxus baccata, Euphrasia tricuspidata, and Cyclamen purpurascens grow. Certain chasmophytic ferns (growing on rock crevices) are remarkable: they manage to live on the overhanging cliffs, and among them there is Chorispora tenella, included in the Trentino Red List and critically endangered. 

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Surface Area: 87.00 ha
Provinces: TN
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