Mount Arcosu WWF Oasis

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

After having been a privately owned hunting reserve for a long time, the Oasis of Monte Arcosu is now a protected area owned by the WWF; it covers about 8.895 acres in the Sulcis mountain area, crossed by the Gutturu Mannu Valley.


Rich in numerous endemic species, the oasis is home to mammals like the rare Corsican red deers (Cervus elaphus corsicanus) – the very symbol of this reserve, which was specifically created to preserve this species dramatically threatened by poaching. Then, there are common weasels (Mustela nivalis boccamela), martens (Martes martes latinorum), African wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica), and Sardinian foxes (Vulpes vulpes ichnusae).

Birds of prey, some of them rare and endangered, include peregrine falcons, goshawks, and golden eagles.


Throughout the area, there is an ancient forest of holm oaks (Quercus ilex) and cork oaks (Quercus suber) which with its 173 square miles represents the largest scrub formation in the Mediterranean basin.
The vegetation is typical of the Mediterranean scrub: it is possible to observe formations of myrtle (Myrtus communis), cistus and mastic trees (Pistacia lentiscus), while on the valley floor, where the streams flow, it is typically riparian, with willows, alders and many oleanders (Nerium oleander).
On the slopes, the low scrub evolves into the scrub-forest, with strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo), heather and Phoenician juniper (Juniperus phoenicea).

Mount Arcosu hosts a lichen flora of great value: so far, 219 species of lichens have been catalogued. Among the floral species worth mentioning, there are several Orchidaceae, Gagea granatelli, Erica terminalis, Barabarea rupicola, Helicrysum montelinasaum, and Anchusa formosa – a local endemism with just some 100 specimens.
Mushrooms grow in several species, while the endemic Ramaria arcosuensis stands out for its botanical importance.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


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