Pantelleria Island and surrounding marine area (ITA010030)
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Pantelleria island and surrounding marine area

Site type: SAC - Special Conservation Area 

Code: ITA010030 - Hectares: 3402



 The Island of Pantelleria, extending for about 83 sq km, constitutes the emerged part of an imposing volcanic building that emerges in the Sicilian Channel, along the contact rift between the African and European continents. From an administrative point of view it concerns the territory of the municipality of Pantelleria (province of Trapani). The orography of the insular territory is dominated by the relief of Montagna Grande (836 m), which originated from volcano-tectonic uplift; among the numerous volcanic cones that dot the territory, Monte Gibele (700 m), Cuddia di Mida (591 m) and Cuddia Attalora (560 m) prevail. The complex morphology of the island area is linked to its lithological nature, exclusively volcanic, which has its origins in various lava masses that have succeeded each other over time and overlapped each other, to the point of covering part of the numerous eruptive centers. As highlighted in the geolithological map, the main outcropping lithologies can be traced back to two essential groups of volcanites: acidic and basic. The climatic conditions differ considerably from those recorded in the other islands of the Sicilian Channel; this is mainly due to the impact of air currents, coming mainly from the north / north-west, which originate perturbations in the highest part of the territory, also determining the formation of frequent fogs. The island belongs to three different bioclimatic levels: semi-arid inframediterranean, dry thermomediterranean and subhumid mesomediterranean; the respective altimetric limits present an evident offset towards east / north-east, following the direction of the prevailing winds. volcanic, is located in the deepest part of the Strait of Sicily. The depths of the island are rocky and mainly vertical in the first 5 meters of depth; the rest of the infralittoral slopes towards the open sea up to a depth of about 30-40 meters, where the substrate is characterized by sand and large boulders. The vegetation of the island (Alongi et al, 2004) is characterized by the typical benthic zoning of the Mediterranean only in the upper area (up to about 12 meters deep) with the bathymetric succession of populations in Cystoseira. Below, the populations of Cystoseira, present in the 70s (Giaccone et al., 1973), have been replaced by populations characterized by algae of greater ecological value, especially Dictyotaceae and Sphacelariaceae (Alongi et al., 2004); the replacement of these populations does not seem to be linked to pollution or environmental alteration phenomena, but probably to changes in the chemical-physical characteristics of the waters of the medium and deep infralittoral (Alongi et al., 2004). Posidonia oceanica that forms extensive well-structured grasslands.Finally, it should be noted that some areas of the island are affected by secondary volcanism phenomena

Due to its topographical position in the Sicilian Channel, the geo-morphological characteristics of the territory, the interesting floristic and phytocenotic aspects, the expressiveness of a lava landscape meticulously modeled by millenary anthropic activities, the island of Pantelleria constitutes an area of ​​considerable interest. naturalistic-environmental. The island also has a significant faunal importance; however, it is located along the main migration area between Europe and Africa in western Sicily. In the list reported in section 3.3, some interesting elements of the flora are mentioned, whose presence in the territory is considered of particular phytogeographic interest (D). The island of Pantelleria plays a very important role in the migration of birds to and from the north africa. The population of Parus teneriffae living on the island is considered to be the only European. Particularly significant is also the presence of the Coluber hippocrepis nigrescens absent in Sicily and in the Italian peninsula. Numerous species of endemic or otherwise threatened insects. present in Pantelleria are extensive and well structured and their presence is linked to conditions of environmental balance. Of particular phytogeographic interest is the presence of C. sedoides, considered one of the oldest neo-endemisms in the Mediterranean; this species is present in the Mediterranean only in Pantelleria and along North Africa (Colombo et al. 1982).

It is included in the Island of Pantelleria

Ministerial data: Ministerial Map          Natura 2000 form

Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero

Photo: web

Information contributions: Ignazio Caloggero, Region of Sicily

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