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The reserve is an important resting and breeding place for sedentary, passing and nesting avifauna such as the night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), symbol of the protected area. There are numerous birds, with 214 species, mainly migratory, but also nesting and wintering. The little egret (Little egret) has been reproducing in Lake Penne (first report from Abruzzo) for some years together with the night heron.

Among the migratory species there is no shortage of rarer species such as the crane (Grus grus): the autumn migrations of 2002 were impressive with over a thousand specimens. Other interesting species are the black stork (Ciconia nigra), the white stork (Ciconia ciconia), the glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), the spatula (Platalea leucorodia), and also smaller species such as the hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes), the beccafico (Sylvia borin), the muciatto bunting (Emberiza cia), the red-headed shrike (Lanius senator) and the rare bluethroat (Luscinia svecica).

The “Nicola de Leone” Naturalistic Museum, registered office of the SOA, Abruzzo Ornithological Association, collects data on aquatic birds and in particular on waders. Among mammals, in addition to the stone marten (Martes foina) and the skunk (Mustela putorius), we must remember the weasel (Mustela nivalis), the rate (Meles meles), the Fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris). The Penne Reserve has also established the Laboratory for Italian Protected Areas and Sustainable Development. It is a study and training center for the conservation and management of natural resources within which to develop, promote and host courses, training sessions, seminars, meetings, lessons, debates, cultural exchanges, quality training packages characterized by practical feedback that allows its concrete application. LAPISS was created with the intention of providing complete preparation to those working in the environmental sector and in particular to those who, for study or work reasons, want to know the reality of protected natural areas delving into the management aspects. The Abruzzo Region, Federparchi, WWF Italy, the Archaeological Superintendence of Abruzzo Chieti, COGECSTRE and the Municipalities of Penne, Farindola and Montebello di Bertona formally joined the initiative.

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