Among snails, certain rare species are relicts of the climate of the ice age, as they stayed alive in cold crevices with favourable microclimate, surviving the warmer, drier periods.
Among the more developed invertebrates, the most spectacular animals are the diurnal butterflies. In alpine and rocky beech forests, a small population of White Mountain Butterflies (Pieris bryoniae) can still be found.
The rare Alpine Longicorn (Rosalia alpina) occurs only in beech forests.
The also rare and protected amphibian and reptile species of the Mátra are the Alpine Newt (Triturus alpestris), the Yellow-bellied Toad (Bombina variegata), the Dalmatian Frog (Rana dalmatina) and Common Frog (R. temporaria), the Spotted (or Fire) Salamander (Salamandra salamandra), the Aesculapian Snake (Elaphe longissima) and Water Snake (Natrix natrix).
The large continuous areas of closed forests and their surrounding peripheries are ideal natural habitats for many birds. On the list of the breeding species one can find the Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) and the smaller-sized Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina). One of our most typical and beautiful birds is the Saker (Falco cherrug).
Our rare nesting bird is the Hazel Grouse (Tetrastes bonasia) which is considered to be unique outside the alpine areas and is a highly protected species. According to observations, the population of Ravens (Corvus corax) is increasing.
A spectacular bird of intact, deciduous virgin forests is the Black Stork (Ciconia nigra).
The Mátra provides a natural shelter for several protected mammal species as well.
The Wild Cat (Felis sylvestris) also lives in the undisturbed, old forests. It pursues an extremely elusive, cryptic lifestyle. Another feline predator of the mountain range is the especially rare Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) which is represented by only a few individuals and highly protected.
The Mátra is the home of the Red Deer (Cervus elaphus), the Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) and the Wild Boar (Sus scrofa). Among the big game, the Mouflon (Ovis musimon), being native to Corsica, is alien to the landscape. This species, which is harmful from the perspective of nature conservation and forestry, was introduced to the Mátra in 1923. Game preserves are being established in the area, which may solve the problems of the environment and forest management.