Information

Regional Nature Reserve Oasi del Simeto - Sicily

Regional Nature Reserve Oasi del Simeto - Sicily

Type of protected area - Where it is located

Typology: Oriented Regional Nature Reserve established with D.A.R.T.A. March 14, 1984 n. 85
Region: Sicily
Province: Catania

The Oasi del Simeto Regional Nature Reserve covers an area of ​​1,859.16 ha along the terminal stretch of the homonymous waterway, in the Municipality of Catania.

Ansa del Simeto - Simeto Oasis Reserve (photo by Alessandro Andreotti www.infs-acquatici.it)

Description

The territory delimited as a natural reserve oriented Simasi Oasis is what remains of an ancient and vast marsh ecosystem that extended south of the city of Catania and which included several wetlands, including that of Agnone, Valsavoia and Pantano di Catania . The environments that survived the anthropization of this area, which fall within the reserve are: Lake Gornalunga, formed by the homonymous tributary of the Simeto; Lake Gurnazza, dammed by the coastal dunes; the Salatelle, vast brackish marshes; the new mouth, cut out after the great flood of 1951; the old focal rod, sickle-shaped, now isolated and fed by the Buttaceto and Jungetto canals.
The Simeto, the largest river in Sicily for the size of the basin (4,186 sq km), was born in the Serra del Re, in the Nebrodi, and flows between the lava masses of Etna before flowing into the Ionian Sea. The terminal one is a vital river environment for migrating and nesting birds (especially the tufted duck, the dip, the bittern, the mallard, etc.), attracted by the wealth of food typical of the places where the sea and the land meet.
Inside the reserve, the Simento river is flanked by plants typical of muddy soils: swamp reeds, mat rushes, narrow-leaf bones. A flat area extends beyond this muddy belt, subject to winter floods and summer drying, whose vegetation is composed of tamarisks, pungent rushes, acute and southern, common and pedicel willows. A third band, formed by a more impermeable, clayey and salty soil, is made up of a vegetation of small succulent leaf shrubs, such as Salicornia fruticosa, Suaeda maritime, Portulacoid Atriplice and common Limonio. The sandy coast on the sides of the river mouth has an even richer vegetation: wild violaciocca, salsola, santolina, sea knot and sea radish, along the shoreline; beach grass, prickly esparto grass, myrtle, beach cornflower, beach lily, mastic and olive spots, inland and along the sand dunes. The areas far from the river were once a dense evergreen spot. Today, following the subsequent reclamation works, they have been occupied by crops.

Mouth of the Simento (photo www.flysicily.it)

Information for the visit

Management:
Regional Province of Catania
Environment Department - Reserve Management Office
Via Perugia, 10
95100 Catania


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