Habitat and Species
The natural reserves entrusted to Legambiente Sicilia protect a geological, naturalistic and landscape heritage of great value. They host rare and threatened animal and plant species as well as habitats important for the community. Four reserves are also part of Natura 2000 sites, set up under European regulation. The main task of Legambiente in managing the reserves is to provide protection and preservation of species and of natural habitats, through:
- enforcing the regular surveillance of the sites;
- putting up information boards and vigilant services at the entrances of the reserves to reduce risks;
- regulating and limiting the activity uses;
- protecting and spreading indigenous germplasm;
- limiting human activities according to the vulnerability of the sites and their protection needs;
- spreading rare and localized species and habitats;
- talking to residents, to inform, raise awareness and direct human activities towards greater environmental compatibility.
The Conigli Beach: model of an appropriate use compatible with the preservation of nature
The Conigli Beach, the nesting area of Caretta caretta sea turtle, was in a terrible degraded state because there were no controls on the access of bathing people, motor vehicles and boats, before it was entrusted to Legambiente. Since 1996, Legambiente has started several actions for the preservation and enhancement of the site: use regulation (access exclusively on foot, prohibition of evening and night access, limited number of visitors, etc.); daily cleaning and maintenance of the beach; re-naturalization and environmental recovery actions; the protection and control of turtle nests to reduce natural and anthropogenic threats.
Nowadays the Conigli Beach is a remarkable model of preservation of habitats and species, and a real example of nature protection, as well as of tourist organization, based on respect and awareness of the extraordinary naturalistic importance of the site.
Natura LIFE program at Macalube
Through the MacaLIFE project, aimed at protecting and spreading habitats of great naturalistic interest that were damaged and threatened by pre-existing anthropic activities, about 67 ha of land were acquired and the typical vegetation of arid habitats and of temporary ponds was reconstituted.
The whole work was carried out by a cooperative of local farmers so as to involve the community in the management and to increase the consent towards nature preservation.
Preservation and diffusion of indigenous germplasm
In the natural reserves managed by Legambiente, a specific project for the conservation of plant biodiversity was activated which made it possible to protect and propagate 85 floristic species, chosen on the basis of conservation importance (rare, localized or endemic species) and / or functional (typical species of the habitats to be reconstituted). After being propagated by seed or by cuttings, the plants were planted in the reserves to spread the natural habitats and to carry out environmental recovery interventions, extensively in the reserves of the Island of Lampedusa and the Macalube of Aragon.