A clear example of the richness of Mediterranean biodiversity in the Pityusic Islands.
The Ses Salines d’Eivissa i Formentera Natural Park is located between the two islands of Ibiza and Formentera, comprising the southern area of the Ibiza, the north of Formentera and the sea that separates them.
The park covers 2,838.44 hectares of land and more than 13,000 hectares of sea, equivalent to 75% of the park’s area.
The natural park is an example of the richness of Mediterranean biodiversity. Its uniqueness lies in its being a stopover and nesting area for migrating birds. As a natural area of special interest, it encompasses a variety of terrestrial and marine habitats with outstanding ecological, landscape, historical and cultural values at an international level.
The marine area of the park accounts for 75% of the area of the park and is characterised by the presence of the oceanic Posidonia, of major marine ecological importance. This plant is responsible for providing the clarity of our waters, protecting the beaches from wave erosion and serving as shelter for numerous marine species. It has also been declared World Heritage by UNESCO since 1999.
The park hosts a superb cross-section of most of the plant species found on the Pityusic Islands. Formentera’s vegetation is characterised by the prevalence of coastal pine and juniper groves, as well as the vegetation surrounding the lagoons, dune systems and cliffs, with a predominance of endemic communities of marine fennel. The abundance of communities typical of mobile and semi-mobile dunes is another noteworthy feature.
About 210 different species of birds have been recorded in the natural park. Waterfowl populations are one of the major features, with species such as flamingos, the common stork, the white jar, the black-legged plover, along with seabirds such as the Audouin’s gull and the Balearic shearwater. Estany Pudent is home to one of the highest concentrations of black-necked grebes in Europe. In the Formentera bird guide (link to the birding catalogue) you can discover some of the most important species and main natural areas of the island, from the extensive white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, the high cliffs of La Mola, to the farming areas, forests and shrubs, lagoons and salt flats.
Other noteworthy animal species are the Pityusic lizard (Podarcis pityusensis), endemic to these islands and with different subspecies on the islets, with characteristics that include the whole possible range of colours from brown to blue. The lizards of Formentera do not fear human beings and populate some of the driest and harshest environments for life. The island’s fauna also includes the garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus) and various endemic species of snails and beetles.
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