Valley of the Caronia River, Lake Zilio (ITA030015)
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Valley of the Caronia River, Lake Zilio

Site type: SAC - Special Conservation Area

Code: ITA030015 - Hectares: 876



 The SIC covers a total of about 876 hectares, within the municipal territories of Caronia and Mistretta (province of Messina), affecting the north-western part of the Nebrodi Park. The biotope is characterized by extensive natural forest formations predominantly of Quercus suber and deciduous oak woods, which develop continuously starting from the coastal area, covering the relief of M. Pagano (860 m) and pushing into the valley floor of the Caronia stream, and then proceed along the northern slopes of Monte Trefinaidi and Monte Madonna della Neve, up to about 1000 meters above sea level. From a geological point of view, the territory is mainly ascribed to the Maragone Unit of the Panormide Complex (LENTINI et al., 2000); these are mainly aspects of the Numidian Flysch, characterized by an alternation of siliceous shale, gray-brown flaky silty clays and gray quartzarenites or siliceous cemented quartzites, sometimes in large banks. From the bioclimatic point of view, the territory falls within the mesomediterranean belt (average annual temperature between 16-13 ° C), with a sub-humid shadow type (rainfall: 600-1000 mm). Overall, the plant landscape is physiognomized by large expanses of woods and scrubs, sometimes marked by fires, which determine the development of secondary formations dominated by cisteti, by aspects of Erica arborea or by arbuteti to Ginestra spinosa (Calicotome infesta). The cultivation landscape of the valley is mainly dominated by olive groves and, limited to the stretches closest to the Fiumara del Caronia, by some citrus groves. The potential vegetation of the arid slopes is instead defined by the cork grove. The valley floor is potentially affected by the thermophilic deciduous oak forest physiognomized by entities of the downy cycle - in particular Quercus virgiliana - while in the upper part it then tends towards the Cerro series (Arrhenathero nebrodensis-Querco cerridis sigmetum).

It is an area of ​​considerable forest interest, as well as floristic-phytocenotic and fauna. Wooded extensions of cork and deciduous oak woods of particular naturalistic-environmental and landscape expression are represented. In section 3.3D some floristic entities are mentioned which in the regional area are rare or considered to be of significant phytogeographic interest. The site is dotted with small lake areas. The remarkable environmental heterogeneity determined by the presence and integration of numerous highly natural habitats allows the presence of a herpetofauna of considerable value, with numerous rare and worthy species of protection. The invertebrate fauna is of exceptional value considering that it includes many endemic species, many of which are limited only to the Nebrodense area and sometimes located in the valley of the Caronia River.

Source: Ministry of the Environment Natura 2000 form

It falls within the Nebrodi Park

Ministerial data: Ministerial Map    Natura 2000 form

Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero

Photo: web

Information contributions: Ignazio Caloggero, Region of Sicily

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