of protected land that encompass a cross-section of the most important natural environments to be found in the Oltrepò.
the woodswillow groves, oak, helm and poplar woods
the rivers and flood plainsflowing waters, sandy areas, riparian woodlands, oxbow lakes both active and lying in dead channels, floodwater pools, poplar woods and arable land
the marshesreed thickets, fens and wetland habitats
the countrysidesmall lowland forests, hedges, rows of trees, borders of planes, solitary trees, vegetation growing on the banks of ditches and canals (reed and bulrush thickets and fens), wetland habitats in ditches and canals, pulping plants and abandoned quarries, permanent meadows, alfalfa fields, fruit orchards and vineyards, poplar and timber plantations and cultivated land
THE TARABUSO BIRD The Great Bittern is found in the swamps of Ostiglia, the only pensile swamps in Italy due to reclamation and compacting of the surrounding soils (it is two metres higher than the surrounding countryside!). The bittern lives between its reeds but it is very difficult to see because, if feeling threatened, it stretches its neck upwards and blends perfectly into the surrounding vegetation!
The pike (Exos lucius) is characterised by its duck beak-like mouth, with strong sharp teeth.
different animal species, some of which are of the utmost importance at European level, such as the purple heron, the marsh harrier, the Italian agile frog....