To find a treasure must be sought if you want to see the Natural Reserve of Lake Preola and Gorghi Tondi, you need to bring.
When you least expect it, nestled in a valley that subtracts from prying eyes, here it looks like: a series of small lakes which together cover an area of 335 hectares from Mazara del Vallo goes towards Tower Granitola remaining parallel to the coast for about 1 km.
Coming from Mazara, you'll see the first lake Murana, unfortunately dry for a time, and only after the lake Preola, the largest, and the three lakes of circular form, the so-called eddies (High, Medium and Low) surrounded by a dense marsh vegetation typical of the Mediterranean coastal ponds, slightly salty, and on the southern slope topped by limestone ridges partly covered by Mediterranean scrubThe area is in fact a karstic depression where the rains and the weather have eroded the chalky soil to form these natural lakes, now surrounded by the dense marsh vegetation.
The trails - The reserve is waiting for you upon reservation at any time of the year but the best time is, without doubt, the spring. And 'then able to see it bloom again after the winter break while birds soar through the air. The WWF, which runs the company, has created a visitors center, a classroom with multimedia, and two paths equipped with observatories on the lake Preola and Gorgo low.
The observatory on Gorgo Basso is also accessible to persons with disabilities after about 180 meters of a trail surrounded by lush Mediterranean vegetation. The observatory on Lake Preola makes it easy observation of several species of waterfowl, especially during the spring, when some of them have nested in the reeds surrounding the shallow waters of the Preola.
The main trail starts at the point where the road Gorghi Tondi, through an embankment, passes through rounded to the three lakes of karst origin (two on top and the middle, and one on the left, down, to the right) itself and from which it takes its name.
National Manager: WWF Italy Via Maccagnone 2 / b Mazara del Vallo Tel: 0923 934055 For more information: www.wwfpreola.it
- From the A29 Palermo-Mazara: exit at Campobello di Mazara and take the SS 115 towards Trapani up to Km 57. From there, merge onto Provincial Road # 85 and follow the signs.
- From Mazara del Vallo: at the end of Via Castelvetrano take the SS 115 towards Campobello di Mazara. Before the motorway bridge, take the Provincial Road # 85 and follow the signs.
Rare species and new sightings ... the reserve offers food and shelter to many species of birds: the Knight of Italy flying pushing back the long legs, the bittern, a protected species by the wings stained light brown, the Ferruginous whose survival is increasingly at risk and the Glossy Ibis beak long and curved. You have to look between the pipes if you want to locate the beautiful and rare specimens of Purple Herons Herons and the most common herons, while among plants could hop the Hoopoe with its curved beak and crest fan. The Marsh Harrier, buzzards, kestrels are the predators who might see it more easily.
Recognize easily glide over the water of the male Mallard, for the characteristic metallic green of his head, the Coot for the black plumage and beak, the little grebe, which owes its name to the habit of diving repeatedly into the water at search of food, turkish Pochard, whose male specimen has the head covered by a beautiful reddish-gold plumage and the Great Crested Grebe with a double crest on the head. The waters of the Preola comfort Spoonbills, Egrets and flocks of cranes that left Africa, they head to Europe for nesting.
Of great importance is also the occasional sighting to the Middle and Lower Gorghi of the rare Marbled Duck. On the water, under the warm sun of spring, you can catch a glimpse of the marsh turtles, species protected at Community level, now linked to the few remaining intact freshwater environments in the Mediterranean region. Just in the reserve of Lake Preola and Gorghi Tondi was identified a new species of Emys Orbicularis, the European pond turtle once widespread but now confined to the few wetlands that are necessary for its survival.
Recently, near Lake Murana guards spotted reserve a copy of Chicken Sultan. Unmistakable for its distinctive blue and purple plumage, has not been seen in these places from the 50s. The discovery is significant because the Purple Gallinule was the subject of a reintroduction project in protected areas of eastern Sicily. The observation of Mazara del Vallo is reporting farthest dall'areale reintroduction and thus makes it possible to study, in an unexpected way, behavior. In the dense maquis also no shortage of foxes, rabbits and hedgehogs.
The Reserve of Lake Preola and Gorghi Tondi has a thick vegetation. The Mediterranean climbs on ridges calcarenitic: so you can see the Oak calliprina, shrubby endemic species now rare, the Holm, present mainly in the woods of catarrh, the mastic tree, evergreen with flowers gathered in clusters, and the Camedrio female flowers pale blue.
When you throw yourself overlooking the lakes, there appear seamless, the marsh vegetation typical of the Mediterranean areas: marshy areas, Scirpo and Tifa. Spring brings out the colors of the many flowering lawn: Wild orchids, anemone, asphodel, Daisy, Dandelion and the beautiful Scabiosa Atropurpurea with its vibrant colors.