Gurrida Lake and S. Venera Skiing (ITA070019)
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Gurrida Lake and S. Venera Skiing (ITA070019)

Site type: SAC Special Conservation Area 

Code: ITA070019 - Hectares: 1519

Description: This area located in the foothills of the north-western side of Etna at altitudes between 800 and 900 m, is represented by ancient flows
lava that caused the damming of some watercourses coming from the nearby Nebrodi chain. In addition to extensive rocky lava fields it is present
also a peculiar wetland area among the few currently observable in the Etna area. The bioclimate is essentially represented by the Mesomediterranean
sub-humid. The most significant vegetational aspects are found in correspondence with Lake Gurrida which represents an area periodically swamped by
waters coming from the Flascio river. These are mostly both annual and perennial hygrophilous formations. The therophytic associations refer to the IsoetoNanojuncetea and have their maximum expression in the late spring-summer period; they host particularly rare species on the island, such as Sisymbriella
dentata, Teucrium divaricatum, Eryngium barrelieri, etc. The perennial and helophytic formations are quite widespread, such as those of the Phragmito-Magnocaricetea,
characterized by the dominance of Alisma lanceolatum, Eloacaris palustris, Carex otrubae, etc. than hemicryptophytes dominated by various grasses and rushes. Yes
shrub aspects are also found dominated by willows or thorny species such as bioancthorn and thorny plum. The lava fields are instead covered in such a way
discontinuous from ephemeral lawns to microphytes and from hemicripto-chamaphytic glareic formations.
4.2Quality and importance
It is a site of considerable naturalistic interest due to the presence of the extensive wet area of ​​Lake Gurrida which hosts very specialized vegetation aspects,
some of which are exclusive to this area or have their maximum expression here. Also significant is the presence of several endemic or rare species of
considerable phytogeographic value, some of which are mentioned in the list in section 3.3 (D). The area presents a close integration and
interdependence between habitats, which contributes to determining a high environmental heterogeneity, which is matched by the presence of a rich and diversified
vertebrate and invertebrate fauna. This heterogeneity represents one of the most important peculiarities of the area and for this reason it should be strictly protected. The
Lake Gurrida hosts essentially aquatic avifauna, and a rich and diversified herpetofauna with species deserving of maximum protection. It is however the
invertebrate fauna with a very high diversity of endemic and rare species, stenotopes and stenoecias related to the most varied environments: paludicule, ripicolous,
forest trees, grasslands, etc. It is a fauna heritage that on Etna is not matched by any other site and which for this reason must be carefully
protected, also in relation to its exceptional scientific and cultural value.

Ministerial data:  Natura 2000 form

Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero

Photo: web

Information contributions: Ignazio Caloggero, Region of Sicily

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