The Tuscan Maremma is a territory that hosts and protects numerous animal species. The dense Mediterranean scrub is the undisputed kingdom of the rich Maremma fauna.
The Mediterranean scrub is the kingdom of the Maremma fauna. In the intricate enveloping of bushes and plants the wild boar still reigns, symbol (together with the buttero) of the Tuscan Maremma, alongside the last specimens of wild cats, the increasingly rare porcupine and badgers, hares, pheasants, stone martens, weasels, hedgehogs, partridges , martens, foxes, roe deer and fallow deer. And in autumn, as if to repeat an ancient ritual, the Maremma man also returns to the bush, looking for mushrooms, ova and porcini, to set traps, to beat the wild boar. Just as the scrub is the realm of the secret, the intimate, the closed and the strong colors, so the swamp (wet area) is the realm of the unknown, of open and immobile horizons, of nuanced colors that blend together. It is a kingdom only for the fauna, especially from October to June, when it is completely flooded. A large number of migratory birds are encountered, many African species, which wallow in the clear or cross in the skies under the eyes of the black marsh harriers gliding low along the line of the reeds, waiting for prey. In the sky the great gray herons slowly circle, with their majestic flight. The little egrets and purple herons rise up from the groups of reeds. Mallards and coots nest among the canals and ponds and not infrequently you meet the rare stilt, slender, white, with black lacquered wings and slender, very long red legs. During the summer drought the swamp dries up and is abandoned by most of the migratory species.
Fox in the Maremma or Uccellina Regional Natural Park – Alberese – Grosseto (Photo by Francesco Monari)
For centuries, in Maremma, cows and calves graze freely in the wild throughout the territory, led by the legendary cowboys riding their Maremma horse.
In the cultivated areas of the Maremma emerge the imposing Maremma bovine, with long horns and a dirty-white and gray coat, and the Maremma Horse, of small stature, endowed with great resistance, strength and vivacity. Among the birds, blackcaps, great tit, jays, blackbirds, green woodpeckers and various birds of prey prevail including the buzzard, the owl and the kestrel, as well as numerous species of migrants. In humid or fluvial environments it is possible to find the nutria or beaver, native to South America and perfectly adapted to the Maremma Regional Natural Park – or Parco dell’Uccellina – after escaping from local farms, replacing the otter, now almost completely extinct .
- Read also: Maremma Horse – Life companion of the buttero, it is strong and lively, used in the past in all wars.