Riserva Naturale Orientata Monte Altesina


Protected Area

Identity Card

  • Land Surface Area: 744.00 ha
  • Regions: Sicilia
  • Provinces: Enna
  • Municipalities: Leonforte, Nicosia
  • Establishment Measures: D.A. 476/44 25/07/1997
  • PA Official List: EUAP1130



Mt. Altesina: Among Summits and Sparrowhawks

Mt. Altesina preserves on the summit the relict of a wonderful ilex tree wood: the ilex tree grows together with oaks and service tree, lentisk and phyllirea, which the wood is rich in. The wood is populated by a characteristic wildlife, including the dormouse, the Corsican hare, and the European wild rabbit living together with the wild cat and the fox. The Sparrow Hawk nests and hunts in the area: it is an accipiter bird of prey which also flies in the open areas. In the woodland, the presence of the Great Spotted Woodpecker should be mentioned. The herpetofauna include small and big reptiles: the Common Lizard, the multicolored Green Lizard, the bizarre Skink, the hemidactylus; among the snakes, the viper and the black whip snake. In the open spaces, the buzzard and the kestrel hunt, while on the rocky spurs of the mountain the Peregrine nests.

Further information (Italian text)

Photo by Mt. Altesina: Among Summits and Sparrowhawks


Ilex Tree

Evergreen oak that can reach the 25m of height, with a rich and large dark green foliage, with lanceolate leaves. The ilex tree lives in the Mediterranean-temperate climatic belt developing between 400 and 1,200m above sea level. Because of deforestation activities, there are only small nuclei in which this species grows together with evergreen trees and shrubs in the driest areas or with deciduous plants in the coolest and wettest woods.

Further information (Italian text)

Mt. Altesina
Mt. Altesina


Sparrow Hawk

It is a bird of prey with short and rounded wings and a long tail, yellow claws and marked sexual dimorphism: the female is much more bigger. From 27 to 37 cm long, the back of the male is dark slate grey, with reddish cheeks and a whitish spot on the head; the abdomen is crossed by brown-red stripes and the tail has large grey and dark brown stripes.

Further information (Italian text)

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