LE GOLE DEL RAGANELLOAmong the harshest areas and for this fascinating Pollino Massif, the gorges of the river Raganello certainly deserved an ad hoc protection. The Biogenetic Nature Reserve Gorges Raganello, established in 1987 and falling within the scope of the Pollino National Park as a Special Protection Area for storage of essential habitat for some species of wild birds, covers an area of 1,600 acres along the south eastern Massicico of Pollino. The Reserve covers an altitude difference of going from 700 meters above sea level and reaches up to 1,450 meters, close to the border with Basilicata. Directive 92/43/EEC with the Biogenetic Nature Reserve Gorges Raganello was also included among the natural sites of Community interest.
The valley of the river Raganello, is characterized as a typical deeply incised river valley, with sheer cliffs over 100 meters high. In the upper part of the valley the soil is impervious and acclivio, the narrow rocky canyons and cliffs on the bed of the stream. Only in the lower part, near the mouth of the Ionian Sea, the valley opens and drops down significantly. The Natural Reserve Gole Raganello is accessible from the town of the municipality diCivita, a town on the slopes of the Pollino Massif, in whose territory is situated the famous Devil’s Bridge, which crosses the canyon of the river Raganello in one of the best and most evocative the whole valley. The vegetation of the Nature Reserve presents itself consists of populations of pine loricato, typical of the Pollino, and black pine trees, the imposing rock formations, associated with shrubs such as heather, genista, hawthorn, wild pear and fig. In the higher areas of the Nature Reserve Raganello beech forests are found in gaggio predominant, associated with white fir, the oak and the oak.
The fauna is typical of this in the Pollino National Park, among other mammals are the wild cat, wild boar, marten, hare and fox. In the Natural Reserve Gole Raganello is reported between species nesting golden eagles, peregrine falcon, the rock partridge, raven, and does not exclude the presence of the rare eagle owl. Near the Reserve has nested also the rare Egyptian vulture and is an ongoing project for the reintroduction of griffon.