Other protection status according to national or regional legislation: Natural Regional Park
The main uses of the project site: The main land uses: Nature Conservation 40%, agriculture 60%
The ownership status: Private property 100%
Scientific description of project area
The site contains one of the western parts of the most important outcrop of Messinian gypsum in Europe. The layers of the so-called Gypsum Vein, inclined towards the plain, cause precipitous cliffs facing south and with interesting Mediterranean character (Pyracantha coccynea, Helianthemum appenninum, Fumana procumbens), contrasting with the more moderate slopes facing north, wooded, with fresh stations and rich in floristic elements typical of the high Apennines (Laburnum anagyroides). The area has a very diverse flora with Mediterranean and Central European elements, as well as an interesting aboveground and underground fauna. Woods and thickets mesophilic and xerophilous dominated by Quercus pubescens (91AA*), here together with an endemic oak (Q. crenata), moist ravines with mesophilic flora, alternating with shrubs and grasslands, ex-cultivated land, scrubland and rocks colonized by ferns and therophytes, wide xeric meadows with orchids (6210*), in natural evolution to the Q. pubescens forests (91AA*). Agricultural crops are relatively uncommon on the area, more common on the surrounding area (included in the site); the wide meadows are used as goat pastures. The area is inside the regional park Vena del Gesso Romagnola. Five habitats are protected by the annex I of the 92/43/EEC directive: 6110*-Rupicolous calcareous or basophilic grasslands of the Alysso-Sedion albi 6210*-Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia) with important orchid sites (20,35 ha) 6220*-Sub-steppe with grasses and annuals of the Thero-Brachypodietea 8310-Caves not-for tourism 91AA*-Eastern white oak forests (13,44 ha) A rich flora in Orchids and Pteridophytes. Birds of the annex I of the 09/147/EU directive: Pernis apivorus, Milvus migrans, Circaetus gallicus, Circus aeruginosus, Circus cyaneus, Circus pygargus (B), Falco vespertinus, Falco biarmicus feldeggii, Falco peregrinus (B), Caprimulgus europaeus (B), Coracias garrulus, Lullula arborea (B), Anthus campestris, Lanius collurio (B), Emberiza hortulana, Mammals of the annex II of the 92/43/EEC directive: Rhinolophus hipposideros, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, Canis lupus* (B) Amphibians and Reptiles of the annex II of the 92/43/EEC directive: Triturus carnifex Invertebrates of the annex II of the 92/43/EEC directive: Lucanus cervus, Cerambyx cerdo
Importance of the project area for biodiversity and/or for the conservation of the species /habitat types targeted at regional, national and EU level:
The biogeographic significance of the Monte Penzola is linked to its Mediterranean flora, with many elements at the northern limit in the Apennines. Among these, the 91AA* Eastern white oak forests (13,44 ha) are here present as submediterranean forest formations with Quercus pubescens and Fraxinus ornus, Quercus crenata, Ostrya carpinifolia, Sorbus domestica, Spartium junceum, Scabiosa columbaria, Silene nutans, Coronilla emerus, Anthericum ramosum, Dictamnus albus, Geranium sanguineum, Epipactis helleborine, Rubia peregrina, Osyris alba, Dorychnium hirsutum, Peucedanum cervaria and stenomediterranean species such as Asparagus acutifolius, Rubia peregrina, Clematis flammula, Rosa sempervirens. The xeric meadows with Bromus erectus and many species of orchids (6210*) are covering 20,35 ha and are strictly linked to the habitat 91AA*. The structure of these forests is often modified and simplified by the widespread past coppice activity in private forests, now abandoned and also forbidden in the park, in which only the tall forest conversion is allowed; the privates are not interested in the conversion and the forests are abandoned or illegally coppiced, so it is very important to purchase these forests to manage the conversion and to stop illegal coppicing. Other serious threats are the fires and the uncontrolled cleaning of the forest, by cutting undergrowth and new plants; presence of invasive non-native species Ailanthus altissima and Robinia pseudoacacia; high agriculture pressure along the borders of forests.