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Fauna

In fauna of the Veľká Fatra mountain range, mountain animals prevail but due to specific climate also some peculiarities can be found in the animals with valuable submountain biotopes of highlands, little woods and wetlands.

The fauna of vertebrates is represented by typical members of the Western Carpathian communities in the central Fatra region. The whole territory provides for good conditions for life of mammals - medveď hnedý (Ursus arctos), vlk dravý (Canis lupus) and rare rys ostrovid (Lynx lynx) or mačka divá (Felis silvestris) to mention our big beasts of prey. They include also other mountain and submountain carnivores such as jazvec lesný (Meles meles), kuna species (Martes martes, Martes foina), and rarely also vydra riečna (Lutra lutra).

Here you can come across the representatives of the game including numerous groups of jeleň (Cervus elaphus), srna (Capreolus capreolus) or diviak (Sus scrofa), zajac poľný (Lepus europaeus) or líška (Vulpes vulpes). Kamzík vrchovský alpský (Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra) was set in the area of the Gaderská dolina valley in 1960’s, its origin is in the Alps and in the Veľká Fatra mountain range it is non-original and occasionally hunted species.

From rodents, typical but not numerous inhabitants of woods and their borders can be mentioned including plch lieskový (Muscardinus avellanarius), plch lesný (Dryomys nitedula) or plch sivý (Glis glis), in the preserved vegetation of valley borders rare hraboš tatranský (Microtus tatricus) or myšovka horská (Sicista betulina) live. They also include other species of insectivores piskor vrchovský (Sorex alpinus) or dulovnica species (Neomys fodiens, Neomys anomalus) living along brooks and in wetlands. Numerous caves in this part of the mountain range are the home and hibernation place of several species of bats including the rarest ones such as podkovár species (Rhinolophus hipposideros, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum), netopier veľkouchý (Myotis bechsteini) and netopier pestrý (Vespertilio murinus). Summer colonies of bats especially of netopier obyčajný (Myotis myotis) can be found also in lofts of buildings and churches

The south-west part of the Veľká Fatra mountain range belongs to the most precious territories also in case of nesting species of birds including the most endangered ones such as orol skalný (Aquila chrysaetos), orol krikľavý (Aquila pomarina), včelár lesný (Pernis apivorus), sokol sťahovavý (Falco peregrinus), bocian čierny (Ciconia nigra), murárik červenokrídly (Tichodroma muraria), skaliar pestrý (Monticola saxatilis) or vrchárka červenkavá (Prunella collaris). There are also places for woodgrouses to utter the mating call and breeding places of gallinaceous birds such as tetrov hlucháň (Tetrao urogallus), tetrov hoľniak (Tetrao tetrix) and jariabok hôrny (Bonasa bonasia). It is also a nesting place of a wide range of birds of prey, several species of owls ranging from výr skalný (Bubo bubo), sova lesná (Strix aluco), sova dlhochvostá (Strix uralensis) to small forest species kuvik vrabčí (Glaucidium passerinum) and kuvik kapcavý (Aegolius funereus). It is possible to observe several species of woodpeckers here, e.g. ďateľ trojprstý (Picoides tridactylus), ďateľ čierny (Dryocopus martius), ďateľ bielochrbtý (Dendrocopos leucotos), žlna sivá (Picus canus), krutohlav hnedý (Jynx torquilla) or rare lelok lesný (Caprimulgus europaeus), too. From the group of songbirds other nesting birds may be mentioned - škovránik stromový (Lullula arborea), muchár sivý (Muscicapa striata), muchárik červenohrdlý (Ficedula parva), muchárik bielokrký (Ficedula albicollis), žltochvost lesný (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), drozd kolohrivý (Turdus torquatus), strakoš červenochrbtý (Lanius collurio), krkavec čierny (Corvus corax) or orešnica perlavá (Nucifraga caryocatactes). On mountain meadows, ľabtuška vrchovská (Anthus spinoletta), vodnár potočný (Cinclus cinclus) near brooks, trasochvost horský (Motacilla cinerea) or colourful rybárik riečny (Alcedo atthis) can be seen. As an important nesting territory of endangered bird species Veľká Fatra was included among 32 important bird territories in Europe and in Slovakia, but it was also proposed to be included in protected bird territories within the European Communities.

Some villages of the Turčianska kotlina basin are regular nesting places of bocian biely (Ciconia ciconia), plamienka driemavá (Tyto alba) or kuvik plačlivý (Athene noctua) as representatives of owls, or increasingly rare lastovička (Hirundo rustica) and belorítka (Delichon urbica), in their surroundings and on the fields it is jarabica poľná (Perdix perdix), prepelica poľná (Coturnix coturnix), škovránok poľný (Alauda arvensis), pŕhľaviar čiernohlavý (Saxicola torquata), chrapkáč poľný (Crex crex), or cíbik chochlatý (Vanellus vanellus).

There were 7 species of reptiles found there of which more common jašterica živorodá (Lacerta vivipara), slepúch lámavý (Anguis fragilis) or vretenica severná (Vipera berus) can be met or even rarer jašterica múrová (Podarcis muralis) or užovka hladká (Coronella austriaca).

Wetlands and streams of the Veľká Fatra mountain range are exceptionally important locations of generally endangered amphibians, in particular of salamandra škvrnitá (Salamandra salamandra), mlok karpatský (Triturus montandoni), mlok horský (Triturus alpestris), kunka žltobruchá (Bombina variegata), and in the submountain area also mlok bodkovaný (Triturus vulgaris), ropucha (Bufo bufo, Bufo viridis) and rosnička zelená (Hyla arborea).

Brooks of the Veľká Fatra mountain range and the Turčianska kotlina basin are typical trout and grayling watercourses with the most important fish species being hlavátka podunajská (Hucho hucho), pstruh potočný (Salmo trutta m. fario), lipeň tymiánový (Thymallus thymallus), hlaváč bieloplutvý (Cottus gobio) and hlaváč pásoplutvý (Cottus poecilopus).

Manifold biotopes of the mountain range provide for diversified conditions also for various invertebrates among which many rare and unique species of our fauna were found. These include shellfish (e.g. Argna bielzi, Chondrina tatrica, Truncatelina claustralis), several spiders and shepherd's spiders, diplopods (Tatrasoma carpaticum, Julus curvirostris, Polydesmus tatranus), interesting occurrence of thermophilous species of modlivka zelená (Mantis religiosa), butterflies (Depresaria hofmani, Catoptria osthelderi, Erebia pronoe, Papilio machaon, Iphiclides podalirius, Parnassius apollo, Parnassius mnemosyne), beetles (Carabus obsoletus, Trechus pulchellus, Nebria rufescens, Gaurotes excellens, Rosalia alpina) and last but not the least varied and rich communities of macrozoobentos of watercourses.