As a result of favorable orographic, edaphic-hydrological, biotic, and especially climatic conditions, on Mt. Tara has appeared long ago and still maintain, a very rich fauna, both in species and number of individuals who inhabit the protected area.
At Tara were recorded so far:
• 53 species of mammals
• 140 species of birds
• 25 species of amphibians and reptiles
• 19 species of fishes
• 115 species of butterflies
Rare and endangered species of fauna of the National Park Tara
Invertebrates are the most numerous and most diverse group of organisms. Only some groups of invertebrates and insects, snails and living butterflies have been explored on Tara so far. Other groups haven’t been systematically researched and only certain species have been cited. In the group of invertebrates there is an endemic and relict species of grasshopper Pyrgomorphella serbica.
Tara is among the richest European mountains in terms of diversity of butterflies. The following species are protected under the Annex 2 of Directive 92/43/EEC: Lycaena dispar, Hypodryas maturna, Euphydryas eurodryas, Hypodryas aurinia.
Other species of insects are known to be located on Tara, which are protected under the Annex 2 of Directive 92/43/EEC are: Rosalia alpina, Morimus funereus. Mountain stream ecosystems are populated with numerous species of aquatic insects, leeches, crabs, among which the attention should be paid to the strictly protected species of the stone crayfish – Austropotamobius torrentium.
19 species of fish were noted in the fishing waters which are managed by The National Park, mainly from the aspect of nationally important species which are strictly protected such as Balkan Loach Cobitis elongata and the tench Tinca tinca. Species that are important on the European level are: Hucho Hucho - the huchen, Rutilus pigus - Danube Roach, Cobitis Elongata - Balkan Loach, Sabanejewia aurata.
Fauna of amphibians and reptiles (Herpethofauna) is characterized by considerable diversity. The level of protection is important at the national level, 16 species, and the three European species: Triturus cristatus - Great Crested Newt, Emys orbicularis - European pond turtle, Bombina variegate - Yellow-bellied toad.
Fauna of birds
There are about 100 species of birds strictly protected by National laws. Many species are on the list of species of European importance (31 species) as Corncrake (Crex crex) that nests in the mountain meadows, Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) and Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides trydactilus). Tara is on the list of IBA areas, primarily to populations of 6 species: Peregrine Falcon, Golden Eagle, gray woodpecker, green woodpecker and ordinary roach.
Tara is an important nesting for the woodcock in western Serbia, which is considered extremely important for nesting of Hazel Grouse, Eurasian Pygmy Owl and Long-tailed owl in Serbia.
The fauna of mammals of Tara includes 53 species. However, least studied groups of mammals are bats considered a very significant diversity of this group in the area. The area is primarily important as a habitat for large carnivores such as gray wolf – Canis lupus and brown bear – Ursus arctos. The bear is strictly protected wild species and in the park there is the largest population of them in Serbia, with a reproduction center in the country. Types of beasts that populate Tara are the wild cat – Felis silvestris, pine marten - Martes martes, etc. The necessary research in terms of determining the presence of Eurasian lynx – Lynx lynx and common jackal – Canis aureus in this area. One of the endangered species, the European Otter – Lutra lutra is an inhabitant of aquatic habitats of the park.
The presence of Alpine Pine Vole – Microtus multiplex should be noted as a representative of rodents with Tara as the only habitat in Serbia and the easternmost habitat in the Balkans. Especially interesting is the presence of the Alpine Shrew – Sorex alpinus, which is on the World’s Red List, and Eurasian Water Shrew –Neomys fodiens, in addition to aquatic habitat species. From the aspect of protection at the national level 19 species are very important, 7 of which are found in ANNEX 2. Directive 92/43/EEC.
Some of the species that are important for protection at the national and European level are: European Otter, gray wolf, brown bear, Eurasian lynx.
Area of Tara Mountain is considered extremely important habitat for the conservation of mountain goats.