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PONDS BEHIND THE DUNES

 In the areas behind the dunes there are ponds and reservoirs of ancient aquaculture facilities dating back to the thirteenth century, where eels and mullet are still bred, with traditional and organic methods. The presence of soils with different salinity regime and fresh water coming from the springs and the influence of the sea determine the presence of halo-hygrophile vegetation, i.e vegetation composed by both halophytes and hygrophite plants. Halophytes are plants that grow on soils rich in sodium environments (such as sea beaches) which, although containing water, provide the plant resources equal to those of an arid soil. The hygrophiles are instead on soils with a large amount of water and are in very humid environments. In the nearby of freshwater we find cane tickets;  near the river with less water stagnation prevails the white saw-sedge. On brackish soils is instead widespread the sparto grass.

Due to the often high salinity water of the ponds next to the sea, the area is unwelcoming for amphibians, whose eggs and larvae are often prey for fish. Near a temporary pools, formed as a result of the winter and spring rains, you can see the European green tods – that lays its eggs there - . The edible frog is instead present in the ponds that occupy the mouth of the lame (Lamacornola, Lama Rosa Marina).

In the summer, the reed hosts exemplary of  reed warblers, Eurasian coot  (who choose this habitat to build their own nests), little grebes and moorhens. From July until the end of the winter you can see how the kingfisher, with deft precision, grabs the fish that abound in the lakes. The reed that grows along the banks of the ponds behind the dunes and the River Morelli is a good haven for grey Hhons, egrets, purple herons and little bitterns. At the edge of the ponds you can easily see the squacco heron, while among the species that hunt for food along the banks of the muddy collection of freshwater or seawater (shorebirds) you can observe black-winged stilts, common redshanks, common greenshanks, marsh sandpipers, broad-billed sandpiper and curlew sandpipers.

In winter  the ducks are those who most animate the lakes of the Park: with their colorful plumage swimming in placid waters, the Eurasian wigeon, the pintail, the Eurasian teal, and the colored Norhern shoveler, named after its unusual  ladle beak useful to collect aquatic plants that he eats.

The beginning of the spring is marked by the passage of the cranes, which, since the end of February, flies over the Park in  "V" formations.

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PARCO NATURALE REGIONALE "Dune costiere da Torre Canne a Torre S. Leonardo" - e-mail PEC parcodunecostiere@pec.it
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