Bosco Pantano di Policoro WWF’s Oasis Policoro Herakleia

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Bosco Pantano di Policoro is a natural reserve protected by the province of Matera. It was established in 1999 and designated Site of Community Importance and Special Protection Area. It covers an area of 500 ha, of which 21 are an oasis of Italy’s WWF and are denominated “Oasi WWF Policoro Herakleia”. The territory interchanges swampy areas to rushes. The forest was 1600 hectares wide till 1931, while today only 680 hectares remain and continue to be subjected to aridity and anthropic activity.

The oasis can be divided in three different areas: the vegetation of the sandy coastal zone, the Mediterranean scrub and the wet wood with its swampy areas. The sandy coastal zone is one of the most challenging for the life of the vegetation, because of the extreme weather conditions (aridity, windy condition, salinity). For this reason, the plants have developed long roots in order to reach the water which lies deep in the soil, narrow leaves, which are thin and flattened to the ground to resist the winds, flashy leaves or thorns to reduce foliate evaporation. Among these plants it is possible to count the barilla plant (Salsola spp.), the field eryngo (Eryngium spp.), the Cakile maritima, the sand couch-grass (Agropyron junceum). It is still possible to find the samphire (Crithmum maritimum), the sea spurge (Euphorbia paralias), the sea daffodil (Pancratium maritimum). The Meditterranea mursh includes the Pistacia lentiscus, the Juniperus oxicedrus, the Phyllirea latifolia, the rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), the myrtle (Myrtus communis) and the Montpellier Cistus (Cistus monspeliensis). In addition, it is present the wild liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). The arboreal vegetation is composed of the Fraxinus excelsior, the Alnus glutinosa, the Populus alba, the Quercus cerris, the Acer campestre, the Laurus nobilis, the Malus sylvestris, the Crataegus monogyna, the Ficus carica, the Cornus sanguinea and the Rhamnus alaternus. The wild liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) it is also present.

The fauna includes numerous migratory birds like the grey heron, the little egret and the Eurasian spoonbill. The otter, which risks extinction, has been spotted in the channel. Among the mammals there are the marten, the beech marten and the badger.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


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