The flora and fauna of the Sibillini embody the “wild spirit” that makes every experience of these mountains unforgettable. The enchanting vegetation tends to change as it approaches the basal core of the Sibillini, an altitude of 500 m at its highest peaks. Until about 1000 m a forest of durmast, black hornbeam, and mannash predominates, giving way to mixed beechwood, which eventually becomes pure beechwood. Today the upper limit of forest vegetation hangs at about 1700 -1750 m, some 100 m below the what it was in the past; this was caused by past clearcutting in the development of pasture areas. Above the potential woodland limit are primary or natural pastures where prized, rare species can be found.
Artemisia petrosa ssp. eriantha, the stella alpina dell’Appennino (Appennine Alpine Star) (Leontopodium alpinum ssp. nivale) as well as Viola eugeniae, Anemone millefoliata, Gentiana dinarica, Dryas octopetala; in the scree and detrital areas it is possible to find Drypis spinosa ssp. spinosa, Isatis allionii, Linaria alpina, Robertia taraxacoides, etc. The presence of Ephedra nebrodensis in Valnerina and Carex disticha in the “Pian Grande” is telling, as it is only one of the two places where it grows in Italy.
The wildlife is also interesting. Of the mammals, worth mentioning are the wolf, the elusive mountain cat, the porcupine, whose diffusion in the warmer areas is a recent phenomenon, and the roe. The deer and the apennine chamois have returned to the park thanks to specific reintroduction projects. Of the birds, the royal eagle is worth a particular mention; since the institution of the park it has begun to build nests in areas that had been abandoned for years. Also the goshawk, peregrin hawk and the sparrow hawk, typical inhabitants of the wooded habitat. Other bird species represented are the royal owl, the southern Greek patridge, the alpine sea crow and chough, golden plover, redstart, alpine accentor, snow bird, and the nuthatch. Reptiles are represented by the viper of the Ursini, which on M. Sibillini reaches the northernmost limit of its diffusion in Italy. An invertebrate example is the chyrocefalo of Marchesoni, endemic to Pilato lake.
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Revised -- 18.10.2013