Site type: SAC - Special Conservation Area
Code: ITA020006 - Hectares: 549
Other site features: The SIC area extends for a total area of 547 hectares and falls within the municipal territory of Palermo, it includes a biotopocosta of significant interest, which is already included within the homonymous nature reserve. It is dominated by the relief that closes the Gulf of Mondello and the wide Piana di Palermo to the west, which culminates in the peaks of Pizzo Vuturo or dell'Avvoltoio (512 m), Pizzo della Sella (562 m) and Pizzo dello Stinco ( m 612). From a geological point of view, the area falls within the series of the mountains of Palermo and is made up of sediments relating to the so-called “Panormide platform”, as a result of a tectonic that caused the overlapping of predominantly carbonatic units. It represents a limestone-dolomitic massif dating back to the Upper Triassic-Cretaceous and Paleocene, with frequent phenomena of epigean and hypogeal karst phenomena. In the northern and eastern part there are steep rocky cliffs overhanging imposing breccias; the south / south-east slopes decline inwards, maintaining a less steep morphology, but nevertheless always quite harsh and bumpy. Based on the bioclimatic classification according to Rivas-Martinez, the territory falls mainly within the thermo-Mediterranean zone, with inferior subhumid ombrotype; above 450-500 meters of altitude, it is possible to hypothesize conditions tending towards the mesomediterranean belt. The plant landscape is greatly affected by the intense uses of the past, as well as by the fires that occur almost annually. The slopes facing south-east are somewhat bare and monotonous, following a very common appearance to that of the other limestone reliefs of the coastal strip of north-western Sicily. The secondary prairie at Ampelodesma dominates uncontested, a floristically impoverished formation due to the perpetration of the action of fire; In the same areas, artificial forest plants have sometimes been carried out, through the use of conifers foreign to the territory (genera Pinus, Eucaliptus, Cupressus, etc.), which have also been affected by fires. The potential vegetation of the same area is mainly to be referred to the following series: - of the dwarf palm (Pistacio-Chamaeropo humilis sigmetum), along the coastal slopes; - of the Holm oak and the Alaterno (Rhamno-Querco ilicis sigmetum pistacietoso terebinthi), on the slopes detrital; -Olivastro (Oleo-Euphorbio dendroidis sigmetum), on the drier rocky ledges and ridges (south side); - Holm oak and Lentisk (Pistacio-Querco ilicis sigmetum), in the upper part of the plateau. The micro geoseries linked to particular edaphic conditions, as in the case of rock walls, detrital areas, etc. must also be added to the aforementioned sigmetas.
This is an area of considerable flora, fauna and phytocenotic interest, often indicated as one of the most significant examples for enhancing the biodiversity of the coastal strip of western Sicily. The promontory of Monte Gallo is an area of great importance for migratory birds both as a route and as a temporary resting place. Some rare or endemic insect species are also reported in the area. In the list reported in section 3.3, some interesting floristic elements are also mentioned, whose presence in the territory is considered to be of particular phytogeographic interest.
It is part of the Capo Gallo Reserve
Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero
Information contributions: Ignazio Caloggero, Region of Sicily
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