Macchia Foresta del Fiume Irminio

Macchia Foresta del Fiume Irminio

Latitude and Longitude 36.779183358609984, 14.586679724745974

The Special Biological Nature Reserve “Macchia Foresta del Fiume Irminio”, established by regional law n. 98/81, was typologically identified with D.A. 241/85; it falls within the municipalities of Scicli and Ragusa. With D.A. 143/88, the regulation containing the methods of use and prohibitions for both zone A (reserve) and zone B (pre-reserve) was approved. Its management has been entrusted to the Regional Province of Ragusa with D.A.n.352 / 89.

The Reserve, in consideration of the fact that “around the mouth of the Irminio river there is an ecosystem of considerable botanical value and that it is necessary to safeguard the biocenosis of the coastal system, the dynamic series of vegetation culminating in the very rare expression of the upper and rear dunes, as well as the riparian ecosystem of the Irminio river “was identified as a special biological one, thus highlighting the aims of protection and safeguarding of the ecosystems present.

The Reserve has a total extension of about 160 hectares between zone A and B. It is a fragile ecosystem also because it is located between two highly populated towns (Marina di Ragusa and Playa Grande) with a tourist vocation.
The territory of the Reserve largely coincides with that of the SAC ITA080001 “Mouth of the Irminio River” of the Natura 2000 Network, a site identified under the Community Habitat Directive and extended for 189.15ha.

In the past, the extension of the biotopes and habitats characterizing the Reserve, resulting from the fusion of different and almost contrasting ecological environments, was much wider; currently it has been reduced to the riparian vegetation of the stretch of the river mouth, to that of the transversal dunes on which the Cuddly Juniper thrives, with specimens of about 400 years old and the Lentisk, and to that of the small areas of the rear dune.
The R.N.S.B. “Macchia forest of F. Irminio” currently represents only the residue of what must have been the Ragusa coast in historical times. In this type of Reserve there is clearly the need to preserve the natural environment in its biological manifestations. In it, the promotion of applied scientific research aimed at naturalistic restoration will be privileged, orienting the evolution of the ecosystem and sustainable development with appropriate interventions, i.e. the change in the socio-economic system compatible with the objective of nature conservation, through information and the disclosure of the natural assets of the Reserve.

More information on the reserves managed by the consortium can be found at this link.

Due to its small size and proximity to inhabited centers, this protected area is subject to invasions by alien species.

Biological invasions by exotic species are considered to be one of the most relevant and significant causes of biodiversity loss and alteration of ecosystems on a global scale. These invasions can be favored by the climate change taking place on our planet.

Within the Reserve, various alien species have been reported both among animal and plant species, as shown in table 1.

With the European Territorial Cooperation project – INTERREG V-A Italy Malta Program – FAST – cod. C2-3.1-121, as well as to raise awareness of the problems linked to the presence of alien species in a given territory, also protected and protected such as nature reserves, to carry out demonstrative eradication interventions on alien species identified as Target (Agave americana and Saccarhum egyptiacus sp. spontaneum) and specific intervention guidelines will be prepared.