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View of the Penne Lake Reserve
Herons in Lake Penne
visit the Floro Faunistica del Lupo area

The flora
The environments of the Lake Penne Reserve are characterized by deciduous oak woods, willow groves and poplar groves. The vegetation of the drier environments is made up of black hornbeam, manna ash and field maple. Among the shrubs, juniper, blackthorn, common fusaria, firethorn and oriental hornbeam prevail.
In spring, primrose, trinity grass and hellebore are observed.

There is no shortage of species linked to the Mediterranean scrub, such as madder, asparagus, butcher's broom and some species of clematis.
Along the Tavo river, the Gallero stream and on the shores of the lake, bank willows, red willows, basket willows, white willows and white poplars grow.

In late spring, when the lake level drops, on the emerged land the tassel and the dodder characterize the landscape of the Reserve. Butterbur, horsetails, rushes and sedges are the most frequent herbaceous plants along the banks of the Tavo river while on some banks  Watercress, water celery, water veronica and cattail abound in the lake. Human activities have influenced the vegetation of the cultivated area: sedge, brome, cornflower, broom, sulla, are the most common plants, alongside olive trees, vines and fruit trees.

The fauna
In Lake Penne there are some species of ardeids such as the gray heron, the red heron and the night heron, symbol of the oasis and nesting since 1983. The Reserve has favored the study on bird migrations: a night heron ringed in Penne in 1992 was reported in the heart of Africa  south of Lake Gabon. The little egret also nested in 1993: it is the first report for Abruzzo and one of the furthest south and at higher altitudes than all the Italian heronries (300 meters above sea level compared to the average 200 metres). Over 190 species of birds have been spotted and represented on an educational panel located along the nature trail.
Among mammals  the wolf has been reported several times in the Collalto area. The skunk prefers lake and river banks, while the badger, stone marten and fox are more common in the cultivated countryside.
A program for the redevelopment of the fish stock has been launched. An educational panel located in the Cascatelle area shows the most characteristic fish.
Studies and projects are underway for the protection of amphibians and reptiles: green frog, tree frog, crested newt, green lizard, snake snake, collared snake, Aesculapian snake. Numerous macroinvertebrates have been identified along the waterways: ephemeropterans, caddisflies and stoneflies.

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