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Isola d'Elba e Aecipelago Toscano
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Tuscan Archipelago >> Nature and environment
 
Presentation The Flora
The Fauna on Land
The Sea Fauna
The islands of the Tuscan archipelago, beautiful jewels in the middle of the sea, have a vast ecosystem. There are interesting animals and very rare endemic plants. The environment is of an inestimable scientific value, fragile and delicate, which must be considered with respect. The presence of man on the islands of the archipelago since ancient times has left important anthropologic, historical and artistic traces and designing the so typical profile of the islands of the archipelago, that is the mix of nature, culture and memory which is hard to find elsewhere. But man's hand, the new civilisations and the need to settle productive activities for the development of the human race have also left wounds on the beautiful but fragile territory of the Tuscan archipelago, changing the original flora and fauna. Nevertheless, this is the biggest marine park in Europe, founded in 1989 to protect the existing ecosystem, and offers shelter for the flora and the fauna and is a link between Corsica, Sardinia and the Italian peninsula.
The Tuscan islands are probably the most important corridor of the whole Mediterranean basin for the shelter given to many bird species on their way from Europe to Africa where they stop and build nests in the park. The Tuscan archipelago, that covers 60.000 hectares of protected water and 18.000 hectares of protected land, is the only park on islands, and the biggest protected water area in Europe. The target activity is to protect the existing species and enhance the reproduction, as it is not possible to turn back time and make those species come back that have already abandoned the territory. Montecristo has been a little bit more lucky, as it became a national park in 1971. Only researchers and small number of tourists in guided groups can access the island. The water of Pianosa is protected since 1979 thanks to the foundation of a national marine park to protect the habitat. This means that coats cannot get closer than 1000 m from the coastline. All coasts of Gorgona are protected, part from a small strip around the port. The best seasons to visit the islands of the Tuscan archipelago are spring and autumn, and not in summer when the islands get crowdy, when with a bit of luck, you can see dolphins that try to follow the boats. Spring and autumn are the best seasons for trekking, with paths that pass the places of the old mines and allows you to discover the most suggestive landscapes of the islands. Or why not go horse-back riding, or ride a mountain-bike, or do some free-climbing on the cliffs next to the water from where you can see the birds flying around in the pretty sky. Another alternative is sailing, canoeing, windsurfing or diving to find the real treasures of the archipelago, the soundings. Or challenge the sky with paragliding, enjoy a relaxing day on the golf course where even beginners can find well equipped centres and teachers. There is also the possibility to do excursions with a kayak or to try to hit the mark with the arches. Just go to the closest agency on site for all necessary information in order to practice sports and to enjoy the nature, choosing the activity that best fits you.

Photos from APT Tuscan Archipelago and Mediaweb srl.
 
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