Flora, fungi and fauna

Flora, fungi and fauna


The study area is exceptionally rich in species and is characterized by numerous threatened species. A total of 372 species belonging to 79 botanical families are reported. Among the floristic species we find 9 species of particular naturalistic interest because they are strongly threatened and/or endangered in Switzerland, 14 potentially threatened species and 12 vulnerable species.

For Info Flora, a foundation active in the field of information and promotion of wild plants in Switzerland, the most important woodland species are the sage-leaved rock-rose (Cistus salviifolius) and the royal fern (Osmunda regalis) and the most important species of the marshy areas are the rice cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides), the common hedgehyssop (Gratiola officinalis) and the bulbous rush (Juncus bulbosus).

Cistus salviifolius

Hypotrachyna minatrum


The national database of SwissFungi contains 107 species of fungi surveyed in the perimeter. The 18 species on the Red List of threatened species in Switzerland are all species that feed on decaying wood (saprobionts). The mosses generally prefer wooded areas and areas along watercourses, but there are also species that have adapted very well to drier areas. At the moment, 70 species of mosses are known in the sector, 7 of which are on the Red List. Lichens are symbiotic organisms resulting from the association of an autotrophic organism (a cyanobacterium or an alga) and a fungus. The National Center SwissLichens reports the presence of 56 species, 13 of which are on the Red List. Particularly noteworthy are the presence of Parmelia minarum (the only station in Switzerland, found on sessile oaks), Collema subflaccidum (the only station in Switzerland, found on walnut trees, ash trees, sycamore maples and oaks) and Bacidia rosella (4 stations in Switzerland, found on wild cherry trees).


The complex of puddles and ponds in the region of Arcegno is one of the most important areas of the Canton for amphibians. According to the Coordination Center for the Protection of Amphibians and Reptiles in Switzerland (KARCH) there are 8 species of amphibians registered in this area. Among the rarest species there are two threatened species of newts: the Great crested newt and the Smooth newt. There are also populations of the pool frog, a national rarity. There are also populations of the agile frog, the Italian tree frog, the common toad and the common frog. In the streams situated in the woods, the fire salamander breeds.

According to the data provided by KARCH, there are 6 species of reptiles: the Green whip snake, the Aesculapian snake, the grass snake, the asp viper (the only poisonous snake), the common wall lizard and the European green lizard. The reptiles generally prefer areas exposed to the sun where there are adequate shelters such as stony grounds and brushwood. The grass snake, on the other hand, prefers wetlands and is therefore easily found near ponds where it hunts amphibians on which it mainly feeds.

The Swiss Cartographic Centre on Fauna (CSCF) reports the presence of 22 species of mammals, including 9 species of bats. Among the ungulates the roe deer and the wild boar are well present. Locally there are good populations of badger, whose presence is detectable thanks to the conspicuous burrows. The diversity of micromammals is relatively limited since only 4 species have been ascertained: the yellow-necked mouse, the wood mouse, the bank vole and the lesser white-toothed shrew. As far as bats are concerned, we point out the presence of the greater mouse-eared bat, a threatened species. The conservation of this species is a priority for the Swiss Confederation.


In the database of the Swiss Ornithological Institute there are 61 species of birds (excluding migratory birds). Of great interest is the coexistence of all 5 species of woodpeckers present at our latitudes. In a relatively small part of the territory there are the great spotted woodpecker, the lesser spotted woodpecker, the European green woodpecker, the black woodpecker and the Eurasian wryneck. The Eurasian wryneck is the only migratory woodpecker that comes to our latitudes at the beginning of spring to reproduce and it is also the only one that is not able to dig cavities. The other woodpeckers are instead considered the architects of the forest as every year they dig a cavity to build their nest; the following year the same cavities can be occupied by other species.

In the perimeter of the forest reserve and in its immediate proximity there are 45 species of diurnal butterflies, 18 species of deadwood beetles, 26 species of dragonflies, 21 species of orthopterans (crickets, grasshoppers and locusts) and 6 species of gastropods.

Great crested newt

Roe deer