Rete Regionale per la conservazione della Fauna Marina SardegnaAMP Tavolara - Punta Coda Cavallo is a node of Sardinia Regional Network for Marine Fauna Conservation

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The Marine Area pulses with life, as sap and blood rush in an entanglement of plant and animal species. The fauna present in the Marine Area is remarkable in its variety; in the water, on the ground and in the air, nature continues to astonish.

Even the desolate granite slabs of Molarotta have their rarities – there is a small lizard that is only found on the large rocks, Podarcis tiliguerta ranzii. Tavolara is the only small island in the Mediterranean to host a couple of bald eagles, but there is more – Tavolara – Punta Coda Cavallo, among all 24 Protected Marine Areas in Italy, is the most important nesting area for marine birds.
In particular, two species have very important nest sites in the area: the Manx Shearwater and the European Shag.
From November until June, these islands become crowded apartments.
Between the rocks, the bushes and scrub, the sandy and the continuous rocky shores, the habitats often overlap.
This is also the case for the colonies of gulls – herring gulls, Audoin’s gulls, sterna and little tern are all present. This is not all, as on the small islands there are also colonies of mixed egrets and herons. Other species seen in this rock shear environment include peregrine falcons, kestrels and ravens, while ospreys can be found in nearby ponds along with flamingos, which color the landscape pink.
Sardinian Warblers, Dartford Warblers and African Stonechats can all be found in the areas of Mediterranean scrub.
The presence of the following birds has been included in consideration for the inclusion of the Protected Marine Area in the ASPIM list:

• Cory Shearwater

• Audoin’s Gull

• Storm Petrel

• European Shag

• Manx Shearwater

• Little Tern

• Sandwich Tern

In the depths off Tavolara and the other islands, the importance and results of protection are clearly visible – so many fish have never been seen before! Porgies, dentex and gilt-head bream have all returned to the area; the barracudas are at home in the shoals, but other types of less flashy fish are growing in number, as if they understand that an environmental agreement has been enacted in this area. Important specimens of grouper have been seen in the waters of the Tavolara.

A visual census of ichthyic fauna has allowed for the estimation of density and size distribution of target species (such as the grouper, the brown meager and porgy) for small commercial fishing and sport fishing, showing there are differences between each zone (A, B and C) and the Protected Area and outside waters. In fact, the brown meager has disappeared in some zones outside the Protected Marine Area. In the protected area, large mammals have been spotted, such as bottlenose dolphins, risso dolphins and fin whales, but as these photos show, there are also basking sharks and sperm whales.
These waters have also been plowed through by the incredible white whale, the humpback whale like the protagonist of Hermann Melville’s Moby Dick, whose arrival was a symbol of the apocalypse in the sea.
The Moby Dick of Tavolara, instead of bothering fishing boats (like its namesake), swims placidly under the hull with two female whales – his own personal harem.
The presence of the following animals has been included in consideration for the inclusion of the Protected Marine Area in the ASPIM list:


• Aplysina sponge
• Axinella sponge
• Black sponge
• Black Anemone
• Red star
• Sea urchin
• Snake sea star
• Vermetid snail
• Sea Date
• Mitra Zonata
• Patella ferruginea
• Pen shell Fish:
• Basking shark
• Short-snouted sea horse
• Long-nosed sea horse
• Devil fish Amphibians and Reptiles
• Common marine tortoise
• Hawksbill tortoise Marine Mammals
• Baleen whales
• Common dolphin
• Sperm whale
• Striped dolphin
• Bottlenose dolphin





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via Dante 1, Olbia (OT) - 07026 Sardegna
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