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Natural reserve of Wildlife Oasis Vendicari

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Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 19 September 2010 15:42
The Oriented Nature Reserve Vendicari Wildlife Oasis is a nature reserve located in the province of Siracusa, Noto and precisely between Marzamemi, particularly important for the presence of marshes that serve as a resting place in the migration of birds. Provided for by law of the Sicilian Region in May 1981, was officially established in 1984, after then-Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Filippo Maria Pandolfi said 1450 hectares of land "wetland of international importance," according to the Convention Ramsar 1971. It was actually made available only in 1989. Is managed by the Regional State Forests.


Within the reserve there are several archaeological sites and architectural landmarks. You can indeed find traces of an ancient tank-storage plant for fish processing, beside which was discovered a small cemetery. There are also remains of the Byzantine period: churches, catacombs, dwellings and cemeteries. Vendicari is certainly a symbol of the Tower Sveva, probably built by Peter of Aragon, Count of Alburquerque and Duke of Noto (1406-1438) and brother of Alfonso V of Aragon, King of Spain and Sicily (1416-1458). Not far away there is the trap of Vendicari, a decaying building that still preserves the chimney in good condition as well as several factories and the homes of fishermen, the trap was built in the eighteenth century: the period of greatest expansion had 40 employees, including two rais (the first of Avola Pachino and his deputy). Stopped its activities in 1943.

The Salt Vendicari had economic importance for a long time, certainly in support for the conservation of tuna fish. The first planting date from the fifteenth century and, to date, there remain vestiges of the Pantano Grande.


The Vendicari Reserve covers about 1512 hectares, of which 575 in Area A and 937 in Area B (the so-called preriserva), which is divided in area B1, on agriculture (citrus, olive groves, vineyards and orchards repaired by tomboli of sand or rock) for 701 ha, and B2, which is dedicated to the remaining part, to the facilities for tourism and sport. It is located in a narrow coastal marsh, which are vital for migratory bird species. The presence of vast marshes by high salinity has contributed to the creation of an ecosystem that is a reference point for birds coming from Africa (just 350 miles as the crow flies), several stand here before reaching the migratory destinations throughout Europe. In fact, the area of the reserve is located at a latitude lower than that of Tunis. The reserve is a coastal wetland of high biological value for the presence of different habitats: the rocky coast, sandy coast, Mediterranean, swamps (brackish and freshwater), salt marshes, scrubland and cultivated areas.

The marshes Small, Big, Bush and the two children (and Sichilli Scirbia, connected only to Bush) are separated from each other only by a few tens of meters, they are at the heart of the reserve. Among the three, only the Pantano Piccolo never runs dry, even during periods of drought, and that thanks to the presence of brackish water sources. Pantano Bush, however, is the largest (1.24 km ) and the mouth that connects it to the sea is usually buried. The average depth of the three main marshes is 30-40 cm, while the maximum is 1-2 m.
There are four entrances to the reserve: an area in Eloro (the north), a quarry in the area of the Flies, the main entrance at the Tower Sveva and, lastly, the Citadel of Maccari (site of the settlement Byzantine which is a small temple and necropolis).


The characteristics of the ecosystem reserve Vendicari have fostered a diverse vegetation. Vendicari as "coastal wetland", is rich in water, but high levels of salinity. Therefore, its ecosystems can only live in those plants and animals can adapt to that environment. Halophytic plants (that fit, that is, soils with high salt concentration) have been developed to remove excess salts, the succulent tissues accumulate reserves of fresh water, other plants such as juniper, tamarisk and the saltworts with the reduction of leaf surface to minimize transpiration and water loss.

The coastline of Vendicari is an alternation of sandy stretches and rocky. Consequently, the vegetation has a corresponding alternation of plant associations and associations of plants psammophilous rupicola (lovers beach).
Last Updated on Saturday, 30 June 2012 10:53
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