The protected areas in Emilia-Romagna include 2 national parks, the national Park of the Casentinesi Forests, Monte Falterona and Campigna and that of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, both of which crossover into Tuscany, 1 interregional park, 14 regional parks and 14 nature reserves. Together the sites of the Rete Natura 2000 make up a true protective system of the natural heritage that extends out over more than 300,000 hectares, or about 13% of the region.
Biodiversity. An extraordinary heritage
The “services” that nature gives to man are very precious, in terms of air, water, and land, not to mention beauty. Emilia-Romagna is home to more than 2,700 plant species, more than 350 vertebrates and 71 habitats of European interest, spread out from the Apennines through the hills and up to the humid areas of the Po delta.
A unique and extraordinary heritage, due to its particular geography, a real melting pot between the continental biogeographic zone, cool and humid, and that of the Mediterranean, hot and dry.
Flora. Many exclusive species
The Emilia-romagnola flora plays a role of national importance. Of the 7,634 species and subspecies that make up the vascular Italian flora, about half can be found in this region. There are also endemisms, relictual species and other peculiar and particular species.
There are about 30 protect plants of European interest, all considered very rare, including lichens, seaweeds and mosses. Two of particular interest are the Apennine Primula, also called the “Apennine Bear Ear”, found in some of the crags in the Emilia Apennines and the Saltwort, a plant found in salty muds, and present only in a few areas of the Po Delta.
Geology. Great geodiversity
The long and fascinating geologic and geomorphologic history of this territory is evident in the mosaic composites of rocky outcroppings, morphologies, karstic systems, springs and also particular phenomena like the “salse”.
The protected areas represent an important element of regional geologic heritage and, in the most interesting cases, are recognized as geosites. For example, the Geologic National Reserve of Piacenziano, established in order to protect the crags, bights, and outcroppings in which evidence can be found of the Piacenziano geologic era.
Also noteworthy are the outcroppings of Triassic chalks along the Secchia Valley, and the ophiolites that can be found in many places along the Emilia Apennines. A geologic event considered to be one of a kind in the history of the world is the “salinity crises” which occurred during the Messenia age, extremely well documented here by the chalks found in Bologna or Romagna, protected by the regional parks.
Also the morphologies of the plains and the coastal areas are places where the geomorphologic history is interwoven, quite interestingly, with that of man.
Fauna. Many protected species
In Emilia-Romagna there are over 200 protected animal species of common interest, among which are 80 birds. In particular, the birds of the Po Delta make up a heritage of extraordinary value, with more than 300 species noted over the last few decades, of which 150 are nesting and 180 are migratory. This wealth makes the Park one of the most important ornithology places in Italy and in Europe, too.
Over the last few years, thanks to detailed studies, new species have been found in the regional fauna: first the black wood pecker and then the wildcat, discovered in the National Park of the Casentinesi Forests.
- Parco Nazionale Tosco-Emiliano
- Parco Nazionale Foreste Casentinesi
- Parco Interregionale del Sasso Simone e Simoncello
- Parco Regionale Delta del Po
- Parco Regionale Abbazia di Monteveglio
- Parco Regionale Alto Appennino Modenese
- Parco Regionale Corno alle Scale
- Parco Regionale Boschi di Carrega
- Parco Regionale Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi dell'Abbadessa