Apennine fire salamander (Salamandra s. gigliolii) in beech forest. Once widespread, this species can now only be found in a few small areas across the Apennine range, where forests still meet its habitat requirements - Italy
This tiny and fragile snowbell (Soldanella minima samnitica) grows on shady and moist calcareous slopes. In the whole world, it lives only on the Majella massif in eastern Abruzzo - Italy
The remarkable colors of this Golden ground beetle (Carabus auratus) seem to underline the high diversity within this group of invertebrates. Coleoptera, the taxonomical order of beetles, includes, in fact, the highest number of known species in the living world - Germany
Portrait of a rare Ursini’s viper (Vipera ursinii) curled among grasses. The range of this small and shy reptile is limited to a few mountain areas of Europe, including the central Apennines. Being cold-blooded, this snake is active for a short time of the year and only during the warmest hours of the day. It uses its poison to hunt grasshoppers but it is harmless for humans - Italy
The mysterious and often overlooked Ghost orchid (Epypogium aphyllum) photographed in the shade of the beech forest during a hot summer day. This plant’s rhizomes can live entirely underground and produce stems and flowers only every several years - Italy
A curious Red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) looks down from the top of an oak tree. This beloved and well-known species is now decreasing on a large percentage of its former range - Germany
A small, harmless Helmethead gecko (Geckonia chazalie) tries to scare off the photographer displaying a terrific posture. This species lives only along the Atlantic coast of the Sahara desert, a place where the fauna is still scarcely known - Western Sahara
The Elder-flowered orchid (Dactylorhiza sambucina) is a common orchid that colours the dull and barren Apennine mountain plateaus at the beginning of spring. It is a polymorphic species and exists both in purple and in yellow morph - Italy
Portrait of a male Black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) displaying at the lek site. This species is experiencing a drastic decrease in its numbers across the whole range. Whether this is due to habitat loss, over-hunting or climate change, nobody really knows - Italy
Life in very dry and hot climates calls for extreme strategies of adaptation. The ability to preserve water in vescicles gives the name to the Cristalline Iceplant (Mesembryanthemum cristallinum) - Italy
An Apollo (Parnassius apollo) feeds on a thistle flower. This beautiful and large butterfly is a typical species of mountain systems in southern Europe - Italy
An adult Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis). This perfect predator is a very elusive bird. Its distribution is inexorably tied to the presence of healthy forests - Germany
Pinguicola fiorii is a small butterwort: a very rare carnivorous plant that can be found only in the mountains of eastern Abruzzo. This species represents another example of the unique biological heritage preserved in the Mediterranean mountains - Italy
Close-up of an adult Apennine chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica ornata) female. The relatively long horns and the pattern of its winter coat are unique features to this subspecies, which earned the definition of the “most beautiful chamois of the world” - Italy
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