Site of Community Importance

The Site of Community Importance "Giara di Gesturi" stretches over 6,000 hectares. Its landscape is characterized by alternating woods and Mediterranean scrubland, in which it is possible to recognize eight habitats listed in the Habitats Directive (Directive Council 92/43/EEC), including two priority habitats that are under special protection measures. In this natural environment, there are also some ponds, called paùlis, that provide water and refreshment for the diverse fauna of the plateau during hot summers. It is not difficult to run into groups of squat, yet elegant horses (Equus caballus giarae), which are the last of the wild horses in Europe. In ​​the Giara, this race has found the isolated conditions to conserve itself over time without any genetic contamination. Other species that are certainly worthy of attention are the many species of water birds listed in the Birds Directive (Council Directive 2009/147/EC) that nest or spend the winter on the plateau.

For birdwatchers it is a privilege to admire the colonies of black-winged stilts, mallards, little grebes, ruffs, marsh harriers, or Peregrine falcons waiting for the right moment to hunt their prey. You can also appreciate the majesty of the white stork, with its characteristic gait and its extraordinary wingspan, in the Giara when it rests there as part of its migratory route.

The Giara also offers ample opportunity for botany fans to observe the rare Marsilea strigosa (which is an endangered species included on the Red List of Flora and protected by the Habitats Directive), the impressive cork and oak forests (Quercus suber) or to walk through the Mediterranean vegetation. In this context, it is possible to see numerous endemic species of flora, such as Morisia monanthos, Arum pictum and Crocus minimus.