Fauna of Corsica

Fauna is just as mesmerizing as the flora on the island, as you have read before. Corsica is home for small land mammals like foxes, rabbits, hares, voles, weasels and many more. The bigger wild animals are deer, there is a specific species called the Corsican Deer, which is kept in the regional nature park to be protected from extinction. Because of rocky surfaces, there are a lot of wild sheep of different kinds. Wild boars, which are hunted for the sanglier delicacy, live in forests. Night creatures include bats, there are habitats on the island for them, since there are 22 different species that live in the caves in the mountains. Corsica has the smallest bat in Europe and it is called pipistrelle, as well as having the largest – The Greater Noctule.

Domestic but wild

Corsican sheep live in the wild but are very precious and loved animals. They produce wool which is very warm and milk that is used to make Brocciu – the best cheese of the island. Goats are kind of acrobats, you can see them jumping from rock to rock in the higher altitudes, they have thicker coats than normal domestic goats and it protects them from the bushes and branches on the mountain side.  There is also a specific breed of dog called “Cursinu” which are versatile because they are valued for their hunting skills, and at the same time can serve as shepherd dogs.

Cows resemble aurochs because of the color of their coat and long pointy horns. They feed only on wild plants and live in total freedom. Pigs are smaller and vary in coat color, living in the mountains as well, they feed on chestnuts and acorns which fall from the trees in autumn, and their favorite food is wild mushrooms.

Reptiles

Salamanders, geckos and lizards are on every corner of the island, don’t be afraid if while visiting one will appear in your kitchen. Corsica is also proud of their Hermann tortoises because they almost disappeared everywhere except Corsica, reason for that is, they like to hide in thickets. Small freshwater turtles or European Pond turtles can be seen on the beach too, they are considered endangered species as well. You can be calm while hiking because there are no poisonous snakes, just tiny grass slithers that you won’t be able to spot.

Birds

The Corsican nuthatch is a small bird approximately 12 centimeters in diameter. Greyish, with hints of blue, black and white. It is inseparable from the pine trees. Nuthatch, as you can figure out by its name, picks seeds from the pine nuts. Most birds who live in Europe live in Corsica too, like robins, tits, sparrows, crows, ravens and many more of the most common avian that you can think of.

You must be careful to not get bitten by the one and only venomous spider that lives on the island. It’s called the black Mediterranean widow. Its size can vary anywhere from 4 to 15 millimeters and you can recognize it from the yellow, red or orange spots on the black back. The widows live under rocks and in the walls of old buildings. Their bite is painful and life threatening for people with weak immune systems, but they only bite to defend themselves.

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