Pelagie Archipelago - marine and terrestrial area (ITA040013)
Type of site: SPA - Special Protein Zone
Code: ITA040013 - Hectares: 387289
Other Site Characteristics
The SPA area falls within the municipalities of Lampedusa and Linosa. The Pelagie Archipelago, located in the Strait of Sicily, is made up of the islands
larger than Lampedusa and Linosa and from the islet of Lampione. The island of Lampedusa, extended over 20,2 sq km and located in the Sicilian Channel at 128
Km from the coast of Tunisia and almost double the distance from Sicily, it is made up of Miocene white stratified limestones, and belongs to the
African continental shelf. Lampedusa was connected to North Africa in the Pontic-Pliocene period. The island from the point of view
morphological is represented by a plateau with a maximum altitude of 133 m, furrowed by more or less deep incisions that lead into
numerous coves in the southern part, while the northern side is made up exclusively of cliffs that descend abruptly
up to 30 meters deep, while the other slopes slope gently towards the open sea and are rich in coves and bays (Scammacca et al ,.
1993). The bioclimate refers to the semi-arid thermo-Mediterranean type according to the Rivas-Martinez classification; the rains result
however extremely variable from year to year and significant importance is the occult rainfall. The island of Linosa, second for
extension and extended over 5,4 kmq, it is volcanic in nature (Serio et al., 2005) and is formed by irregular substrates and vertical walls up to
depth of 30-45 meters. The island consists of a Quaternary volcanic building linked to repeated eruptive activities. It therefore results
characterized by several cones formed by pyroclastic material with a maximum altitude of 195 m (Monte Vulcano). Along the limited areas
flat land, agriculture is still practiced today, with particular reference to vineyards and horticultural crops. As well as for Lampedusa,
also in Linosa the annual precipitations are extremely variable, even if the average values appear higher than testifying one
greater climatic oceanicity. The Pelagie archipelago, located in the Strait of Sicily, consists of two major islands (Lampedusa and
Linosa) and from the islet of Lampione. Lampedusa, the largest and most southerly of the Pelagie Islands, is calcareous in nature; the northern side is
consisting exclusively of cliffs that drop sharply down to 30 meters deep, while the other slopes slope gently
offshore and are rich in coves and bays (Scammacca et al. 1993) Linosa (Serio et al. 2005), second largest, is volcanic in nature
and is formed by irregular substrates and vertical walls up to a depth of 30-45 meters. Lampione (Alongi & Catra, 1999), the smallest
of the islands, it is of calcareous nature and rises from the sea forming high cliffs; the seabed reflects the coastal morphology, degrading rapidly
on the sandy bottom at about -40 meters. From the vegetational point of view, the shrub formations (Periplocion
angustifoliae and Cisto-Ericion), halophilous-rupicolous (Crithmo-Limonietea) and halo-nitrophilous (Pegano-Salsoletea).
hard substrate benthic of the archipelago differs considerably due to the different nature of the substrate however the populations
vegetables appear well structured and in balance with the environmental conditions. Furthermore on mobile substrates they are present extensive and well structured
Posidonia oceanica meadows. Around the Island of Lampedusa there is a notable presence of Cymodocea nodosa in sandy pockets.
the presence of an alien species Caulerpa racemosa (Alongi et al. 1993), which in the last decade has spread widely throughout the
Mediterranean (Piazzi et al., 2005) and that forms extensive meadows in the archipelago also close to the Posidonieti.
4.2Quality and importance
The Pelagie Archipelago includes areas of considerable naturalistic-environmental interest, with peculiar aspects of xerophilous vegetation, in which
scope are represented several exclusive plant species or of significant phytogeographic interest (section 3.3: D), in relation to the rarity or
absence in the Italian territory outside these islands. From the vegetational point of view, the shrub formations are of a certain importance
(Periplocion angustifoliae and Cisto-Ericion), halo-rupicolous (Crithmo-Limonietea) and halo-nitrophilic (Pegano-Salsoletea).
largest colony of Calonectris diomedea present in the Mediterranean with over 10.000 pairs. Numerous species of endemic insects
exclusive of Lampedusa. There is a large population of Falco eleonorae present in Lampedusa and Lampione. As for the herpetofauna,
interesting is the endemic population of Podarcis filfolensis laurentiimuelleri, the presence in Lampedusa of two ophids of North African origin and
the historic area of oviposition of the Caretta caretta on the beach of the island of rabbits.The plant populations present both on hard substrate,
while not reflecting the typical zoning of the Mediterranean, they are extensive, well structured and maintain a high biodiversity.
Source: Ministry of the Environment Natura 2000 form
Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero
Information contributions: Ignazio Caloggero, Region of Sicily
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