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Meadow Viper


(Vipera ursinii)

Isolated and separated populations are distributed in Italy in some mountains of the central Apennine, where this species lives at an altitude ranging between 1,600 and 2,300 m above sea level.
The areas where the presence of this viper has been pointed out are the following ones: Gran Sasso-Laga, Majella, Velino-Sirente, Sibillini Mounts, Marsicano and della Meta Mounts, Terminillo.
Within the Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains National Park territory this species is present all over the Campo Imperatore upland (from the area of the hotels up to the area near Castel Monte), on many of the slopes of the adjacent summits (such as Mount Portella, Mt. Scindarella, Mount Cristo, Mount S. Gregorio di Paganiga) and in Campo Pericoli.
It has been recently sighted even on the Laga Mount.
The Vipera Ursinii's favorite habitats are steppes, grasslands and mountain pastures where shrubs, rocks and any other shelter are present.
In the Mediterranean regions its connection with the low-growing shrubby junipers (Juniperus Nana) and with the calcareous outcrops rich in splits is particularly clear.
Furthermore, within the single areas vipers are divided into small populations often far from each other: this shows that few specimens of this viper are still present.

Meadow viper
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