There are many abandoned buildings in the region, remnants of a more populated past in rural areas. Offering refuge from the sun and the rain, invaded by shrubs and without the disturbance of a human presence, they became refuges for many groups of vertebrates such as reptiles, birds, bats and small mammals. The common gecko is the most abundant and active reptile in the summer nights. As semi-natural habitats, these have, over time, become crucial to the survival of some bird species in Mediterranean ecosystems. This is the case for the lesser kestrel which nests exclusively in cavities of ruins, and also the barn owl, whose common name derives from their use of these structures. The nearby abundance of small mammals (rodents and insectivores) provides an easy food source for these raptors. Other birds that nest in these constructions are the sand martin, barn swallow and the blue rock thrush.