Talking about the animals that occupy a territory is always complex, due to the difficulty of observation that it entails in many cases, especially in regard to vertebrates. So, in large part, we have to make a “leap of faith” and remember that we’ll have to rely on the traces, footprints, food remains or other indirect data if we want to have any idea, for example, of what kind of mammals inhabit a specific zone, unless we have a bit of luck and surprise a distracted boar or some curious fox! The Fauna that one hopes to find in this area of the proposed route is typical of the Mediterranean region. So in the areas of scrubland and at the edges of the trail, in regard to mammals, we will find: rabbits, foxes, badgers and wild boars (omnipresent in all environments along the trail). As for the birds, partridges, warblers, greenfinches, serins, finches and goldfinches will show a certain preference for these areas of shrub vegetation with isolated trees that some species will use as a lookout to mark their territories.
In more wooded areas, we can hear robins, tits, jays, wood pigeons, green woodpeckers, blackbirds, and at night, the intriguing hoot of tawny owls. Needless to say, in areas where pine trees are common, we can see the presence of pine cones eaten by squirrels or forest mice. Regarding reptiles, they will be more common in dry and rocky areas where we can find: common and long-tailed lizards, ladder snakes or the splendid green or Montpellier snake. These snakes will be potential prey for one of the most beautiful eagles of our Mediterranean sky: the short-toed snake eagle, a specialist in catching reptiles, which visits us each spring from the African continent.
In the riverbank area we can see (or more easily hear) Iberian green frogs, midwife toads, the common and natterjack toads, salamanders, etc. All these amphibians will make their homes in the humidity and freshness they will only find in these spots. Wherever the water is still enough, we can observe some swimming water snakes, looking for any of the aforementioned amphibians. It’s fair to say that near the riparian areas, among the brush and scrubs, we can hear the splendid song of the nightingale, but only when the good weather comes that is. We can also see the beautiful oriole, a summer bird, crossing the green canopies of the alders and poplars, as well as the nightingale, also from African lands, which with its exotic song and striking colours evokes the distant tropical lands where it comes from.
The arthropods (insects, spiders and millipedes, among many others) found here in any plant community, including pine trees, are extraordinarily numerous. Although the number of flowers is relatively scarce within the pine forests, the insects are particularly abundant, not only as a result of their mobility (beetles, butterflies, flies, mosquitoes, bees, wasps, ants, etc.), but because many of the larvae are vegetarian or parasitic, so adults can search for suitable places where they can lay their eggs. On the other hand, the huge number of species of arthropods and the lack of knowledge regarding most of these species by the general public makes it impossible to list them. In spite of this, we will emphasise some examples that are well known or easy to spot. Throughout the route, we can see some pockets of pine processionary caterpillar colonies on the pine trees. This is a well-known species because of the problems caused to people due to the allergic reactions that the caterpillar hairs produce. During the spring, we can find termites in the bases of the pine trees and during the summer we can hear the songs of the cicadas. We can also see various species of butterflies, bees and wasps, and even beetles, flitting around the flowers. Nor can we forget the scolytinae, bark beetles that bore through wood and which leave their tunnel marks on the underside of the bark. As for the spiders, their cobwebs are pretty showy; several families build them among the branches of the heather and other shrubs, making longer clumps which are more or less concave or convex in shape. The list of arthropods would be endless, so we recommend walkers to take guides along the way to help them with the task of identification.