Vela ponds - Soprasasso (SAC)
- Municipality: Trento
- Hectares: 87
- Natura 2000 Network Code: IT3120051
The site is located North of Trento and it is characterised by two small man-made ponds (former abandoned gravel pits), by the inaccessible rocky walls of Monte Soprasasso overhanging on the Adige Valley and by sediment layers covered in vegetation. The ponds are extremely important for the reproduction of lots of reptiles and amphibians. Some of these are the European green toad (Bufotes viridis), the agile frog (Rana dalmatina), the yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata), the Italian tree frog (Hyla intermedia) and the green frog (Pelophylax esculentus). The rocky walls of Monte Soprasasso don't have any vegetation, except in the ledge areas, because of their verticality. Nevertheless these rocky walls host a vast variety of daily and nightly predatory birds: the peregrine falcon (Falcus peregrinus), the common buzzard (Buteo buteo), the European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), the common kestrel (Falcus tinnunculus) and the black kite (Milvus migrans) within the daily birds; the Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) and the tawny owl (Strix aluco) within the nightly birds. Important to remember are also the common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) that seeks food in the ponds and within the mammals the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum), a European protected species of bat that lives in caves. The slopes of Monte Soprasasso are covered in bushes in which Phyllitis scolopendrium, Taxus baccata, Euphrasia tricuspidata and Cyclamen purpurascens grow. Significant are also some casmophytic fens (that live in rocks' cracks) that are able to grow on the overhanging cliffs. One of these species is listed in the trentine IUCN Red List as critically endangered: Chorispora tenella.