Sicily - Flora and Fauna

Flora and Fauna

Sicily is an often-quoted example of man-made deforestation, which was practiced since Roman times, when the island was made an agricultural region. This gradually dampened the climate, leading to decline of rainfall and drying of rivers. Today, entire central and southwest provinces are practically without any forests. That also affected the island's wild fauna, of which is little left in the pastures and crop fields of the inland. The natural flora and fauna of the coastal region too has all but disappeared. The last section of unspoilt coastal wilderness is the Riserva dello Zingaro(The Gypsy)near San Vito lo Capo.

The Nebrodi Mountains Regional Park, established 4 August 1993, with its 86,000 hectares (210,000 acres) is the largest protected natural area of Sicily, here is the largest forest of Sicily, called forest Caronia, that is also the second name of Nebrodi Mountains. A number of bird species are found in Sicily. In some cases Sicily is a delimited point of a species range. For example, the subspecies of Hooded Crow, Corvus cornix ssp cornix occurs in Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica, but no further south.

The Hundred Horse Chestnut (Castagno dei Cento Cavalli), located on Linguaglossa road in Sant'Alfio, on the eastern slope of Mount Etna is the largest and oldest known chestnut tree in the world, dated between 2000 and 4000 years.

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