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Flora and fauna

  • Flora and fauna

    The view of the coast from the sea is of sublime beauty. The distinctive relief, dominated by the imposing cliffs and varied rock formations, is accompanied by native flora and fauna.  The presence of protected coastal spaces throughout the region helps preserve local habitats and species, both on land and at sea.

    The cork oak forests on granite formations are a feature of the south of the region, that can be found in the Ardenya or Cadiretes mountains. For its part, the Montgrí coast to the north looks out to sea with tall limestone cliffs where plant species such as rock samphire, limonium and plantains are present.  Animals such as the eagle owl, Bonelli’s eagle, European shag and bats are common inhabitants of this area.

    The Montgrí, Medes Islands and Baix Ter Natural Park has an important variety of habitats. Along the kilometres of beach there are also coastal dune formations, with plants such as European beachgrass and birds like the Kentish plover.

    The contact between the Ter river and the sea creates an area of marshes and salt marshes of great ecologic value. In this stop-off for migratory birds, some species stand out like the mallard, heron, Eurasian bittern and western marsh harrier.

    The central part of the region also forms part of various protected spaces like the Begur mountains or Castell–Cap Roig. Maintaining the characteristic landscape of the Costa Brava, forests of cork oaks and pines (especially Aleppo pine and stone pine) become more predominant, also accompanied by some holm oak woodland.

    The animal species present in these spaces include different birds, such as the pallid swift, the European shag and various species of gulls, as well as bats.

    In the Baix Empordà, the sea hides an important source of life in its depths. Marine habitats are important, especially in the area around the Medes Islands, a space which is part of the natural park and which, with various underwater caves, tunnels and cavities, has corners that are full of life. The presence of Neptune grass, corals and Paramuricea clavata soft corals is important. In this marine setting, fish like the dusky grouper, common eagle ray, corb, zebra sea bream and gilt-head bream can also be found.

    Other parts of the coast also conserve an important natural patrimony on the seabed, with Neptune grass in the central area and accumulations of calcareous red algae in the southern area being especially noteworthy.

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