National Park Arcipelago Toscano
Hotels National Park Arcipelago Toscano
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The Islands are noted for a certain presence of endemic species, although the number is less than on the adjacent continental mass. So this determines the necessity to protect the natural environment, as the disappearance of either a
flora or fauna species would result in a great loss and make a disproportionate biological change to the Tuscan Archipelgo. Amongst the most representative endemic species, for instance, are the gasteropod molluscs "Oxychilus pilula" and "Tacheocampylaea tacheoides" of Capraia and the "Oxychilus gorgonianus" of
Gorgona. Other important species are the Elban butterfly "Coenonympha elbana", the cricket "Rhacocleis tyrrhenica", the lizard "Podarcis muralis colosii", the viper "Vipera aspis francisciredi", all found on Elba; the lizards "P. muralis insulanica" and the "P. muralis muellerlorenzi" on Pianosa; and finally the viper "Vipera aspis montecristi" on Montecristo. The presence of the Corsican citril finch "Serinus citrinella corsicana", the Alpine accentor "Prunella
collaris", the Tyrrhenian tree toad "Hyla sarda", the Jardinian "Discoglossus sardus" and of the Tyrrhenian gecko "Phyllodactylus europaeus" make this such a unique environment. The land mammals are those typical to the Mediterranean environment. The pine marten "Martes martes", rare anywhere else, has a strong presence and is an agile inhabitant of the woods of Elba. The wild rabbit "Oryctolagus cuniculus" is also wide spread on Capraia and Giglio. The wild boar of Maremma was already extinct on Elba at the beginning of the eighteen hundreds, and so the central European wild boar "Sus scrofa" was introduced approximately thirty years ago, and later, probably became a hybrid of wild boar and local pigs. With the absence of local predators, this extremely prolific breed has reproduced beyond measure on Elba and is becoming a real threat to both floral endemic species and the agricultural crops. Strong measures of control are underway to reduce the numbers of these hoofed animals to a reasonable level. On Montechristo, too, the presence of the wild goat "Capra aegagrus hircus" has caused problems in the management of the protected area. The introduction of the Sardinian mountain goat "Ovis
musimon" to Elba and Capraia has created several ecological problems.
The Tuscan Islands are also a great migratory bridge between Mid-Northern Europe and the African continent. During the migration season you can witness the spectacular flight of numerous birds. All birds typical of the Mediterranean environment nest and winter on the cliffs, in the scrub and in the
woods of all the Islands. The Archipelago is, in fact, the favourite spot for all birdwatchers in Europe. Amongst all the environments rich in bird life, worth special mention, are the rocks of the Cala Maestra in Gorgona, the Palmaiola rocks, Cerboli, Topi Island, Cala Scirocco and Cala Grande on
Montecristo, Cap Enfola on Elba, Point Capel Rosso on the west and Punta del Trattoio on Capraia. The nesting of the fastest winged predator, the pilgrim falcon "Falco peregrinus brookei" on Elba and Capraia is of great importance. A great attraction for birdwatchers are the woodpeckers "Tichodroma muraria" found on the rocky areas of Giglio and Capraia, and various types of swallows and swifts, like the pale swift "Apus pallidus" on Giannutri. Another treat for birdwatchers would be the colonies of shearwaters "Calonectris diomedea" and "Puffinus puffinus" and the herring gulls "Larus argentatus", which exist on all the Islands of the Archipelago, along with the rare, red partridge "Alectoris rufa" on Elba and Pianosa. Furthermore, the Park includes the presence of one of the largest colonies of rare Corsican seagulls, of which almost a third of the world´s population reproduce on the Tuscan Islands. This rare bird in flight over the rippling waves, has been chosen as the symbol of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park.
At Elba Island, there is tourist accommodation available in hotels, farm holiday, farmhouse, residence self-catering accommodation, b&b, rooms for rent, holiday homes, camp sites and tourist villages.