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28 maggio 2017

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The animal landscape of the Aeolian Islands

The formation of the main volcanic Aeolian arch took place during the last 500,000 years (second the last  datings made by volcanologists) and, unlike many Mediterranean islands, total autonomy in relation to land nearby, with which the archipelago seems not be ever came into contact area. The populations of plants and animals that are hosted in    Aeolian are the result of processes of colonization (active or passive) of the islands, during the past 7000 years.

The number of vertebrates is not large, but includes some interesting endemics. The quercino (Eliomys quercinus) in Lipari is a unique subspecies (ssp. liparensis), characterized by greater size than the continental populations. In some smaller islets survive small populations of the lizard of Aeolian (Podarsis raffonei), very darkest of common lizards in the rest of the archipelago, this species probably in the past was also present on other islands, where it was eliminated as a result of competition with other species that now prevails at Aeolian, the lizard of the fields (Podarsis sicula).
There are no poisonous snakes, but only the dark green snake (coluber viridiflavus)  which, indeed, is useful to man, mainly basing his diet on mice and insects. Other Reptiles quite common are the two geckoes (Tarentola mauritanica) and (Hemidactylus turcicus), frequent artificial at the light sources during the summer evenings, hunting moths and other insects.
Among mammals remember the dormice (Glis glis), who lives in chestnut that occupies the summit of the crater of the Fossa delle Felci, in Salina; it is a species uncommon in the smaller Italian islands and certainly  introduced by humans in age history.

lizard of the fields
 (Podarsis sicula)

dark green snake
(coluber viridiflavus)

geckoe

(Hemidactylus turcicus)

 

Among the birds alike, the more "visible" are the buzzard (Buteo buteo) and the kestrel (Falco Tinnunculus); the considerable presence of imperial crow (Corvus corax), whose population density reach truly extraordinary in Lipari and other islands of the archipelago. On the western coast and in  front cliffs, during the spring months, instead populous nesting colonies of real Mediterranean gull (Larus Cachinnans). The most interesting is without doubt the  falcon of the queen (Falco eleonorae), rare Falconide Mediterranean and authentic "specialist" of the small islands. This is the only predator of our fauna that live in colonies, located on the western cliffs of some islands of the archipelago, where implements strategies spectacular community hunting against migratory pass during late summer.

 

the kestrel

(Falco Tinnunculus)

real Mediterranean gull
(Larus Cachinnans)

The falcon of the queen

(Falco eleonorae)


Remarkable in general is the diversity of birds, which in addition to sedentary species include a large number of migratory species, the presence of salty pond Punta Lingua, in Salina, considered a Special levelProtection Area at Community, offers at shorebirds a environment eligible to stop during spring and autumn



 

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Nautilus Web Magazine
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