ibiza, the island | flora and fauna
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ibiza, the island | flora and fauna

Ibiza, the island - Flora & Fauna

Ibiza's Flora

Ibiza, situated in the Mediterranean sea, has incomparable natural beauty with an impressive, jagged coastline of rocky coves and bays interspersed with attractive beaches.
Beaches come in all colors and shapes, but the sea water is always clear and of beautiful azure color and pleasant temperatures, until far in October.
Inland you'll find rolling green hills and valleys with picturesque white villages surrounded by fragrant almond, carob-, olive, lemon and orange groves and although the island is very dry in summer, the soil always remains very fruitful and many kinds of herbs and grasses start growing, after each rainfall.
Ibiza is home to some colorful endemic plant species found only on this island (and Formentera), such as specific orchid species, the unique hyacinth Scilla numidica, carnation species Silene cambessedesii and a special medicinal plant Thapsia Garganica.

Ibiza's Fauna

Is divided in Marine fauna with areas of greatest diversity found along Ibiza's coasts, Fauna in continental waters such as Ses Salinas and ses Feixes, Land fauna found in humid areas, forest ecosystems and areas with traditional agriculture and Underground fauna, found in coves that are very particular to the island, where very rare endemic species have been discovered.
One of Ibiza's most important sea ecosystems, declared 'World Heritage' in 1999,  is the Posidonia Oceanica, a 30,000 year old eelgrass that slows global warming (scientifically proven!), by transforming carbon dioxide into oxygen. Although protected in the Natural Park of Ses Salinas (Parque Natural de Ses Salines Ses Salines), the Posidonia still today suffers harm caused by irresponsible boat use. Fortunately, in 2016, María José Estarellas founded a volunteer group by concerned local citizens, running extra patrols in summer to raise awareness, and alert captains responsible for mooring, to use the eco-buoys in the correct way, and not to destroy or damage the Posidonia fields.
Protected in the Cala d'Hort Nature Reserve (Reserva Natural de Cala d'Hort) life endangered native marine species such as the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and the dolphin species, Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).
The vital marine reserves of Ibiza are a safe haven for many birds, including flamingos and the endangered Audouin's gull, and Peregrine- and Eleonorae's falcon species.

The island knows a number of endemic species such as the Mediterranean house gecko Hemidactylus or turcicus, frogs, turtles, hedgehogs, rabbits, bats and wild genet cats and moreover knows its own type of hunting dog, the Podenco.

There are no "dangerous" animals on the island, such as poisonous snakes, lizards and spiders.
Starting from the mid-80s, Ibiza maintains a log of 'serpents incidents' and although since 2003 three species of snakes were found  regularly in Ibiza, once 'accidentally' imported in pots of olive trees by garden centres, there is no cause for alarm.
These are non-toxic species, such as the Horseshoe snake (Hemorrhois Hippocrepis), the Rat or Ladder Snake (Rhinechis scalaris) and the light-toxic, but unsociable snake lizard (Malpolon monspessulanus), appearing frequently on the Spanish mainland and prefers to evade people.

Due to the isolated location, the Pityusen lizards or Ibiza wall lizard developed its own species, Podarcis pityusensis, with a length of 7 cm, reddish-brown flanks and a beige or tan to brown back.
In Formentera lives a variant Podarcis pityusensis formenterae, with a white or green base color and thin rows of spots of dark brown to black on the back and flanks and in mating season in particular the color of the males changes to jade-green and orange on the belly and throat. Also by the isolated location, in rock island Es Vedra an entirely unique lizard species developed, Podarcis pityusensis vedranellensis, with deep blue flanks and a yellow back.

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