Animals and Plants on Sardinia
Flamingos, turtles, myrtle, eucalyptus trees, the typical mediterranean macchia, Sardinian deer and white donkeys: The animals and plants of the island of Sardinia are very special. Allergy sufferers may also be happy about it. The usual suspects that cause symptoms of hayfever are not there. In spring nature pracically explodes. In March, April and May the whole island is blooming with flower fields that look like carpets. In June it starts to become very hot, the sun burns all the flowers and many other plants and yet some green spots always remain. In autumn, starting in October, the first rains bring forth many blooming and green plants again. The landscape changes in the course of the seasons quite differently than in Central Europe. Some animals have been able to develop in Sardinia due to the situation away from the mainland - some endemic species occur only in Sardinia.
Sardinia's fauna: farm animals and wild animals in Sardinia
There are numerous farm animals in Sardinia. Agriculture played an important role in Sardinia and it still does. For example, the shepherd's profession is still popular on the island.pferde
Horses and donkeys
Horses and donkeys belong to Sardinia. Donkeys are not as important as they used to be, but you can still find it quite often on the farms of Sardinia. Horses have always played a big role, the Sardinians are great riders. If you like equestrian sport Sardinia is the right place for you. To take a ride along the beaches or somewhere else is definitely one of most popular recreational acitivies in Sardinia. There are numerous stud farms in Sardinia.
Sheep are also an integral part of wildlife in Sardinia. In large and small herds they are found everywhere around the island. Above all, this is the basis for the good Pecorino Sardo (Sardinian pecorino - sheep cheese), which develops very individual tastes and an enormous variety. Who drives on side streets by car or camper over the island, easily gets into the middle of one of the numerous flocks of sheep. The shepherds wave one through, the ride can usually go on within a few minutes. Especially in spring - when Sardinia is lush green - they are pretty to look at (in the photo on a meadow with chamomile that covers the landscape like a pillow).
Other farm animals
Of course, there are many other animals in Sardinia: Poultry such as chickens and goats, for example, are common. Even dogs are very common - the domestic house and farm dog breed is the Cane Corso (Corsican shepherd dog). Most dogs, however, are hybrids.
Are there any dangerous or poisonous animals in Sardinia?
This question is asked frequently. The answer is simple: No. The only dangerous land animal in Sardinia is the European Black Widow (as everywhere in Italy, Croatia and other southern European countries). However, there are hardly any known cases in which someone has suffered damage. The poison of the European Black Widow is not as strong as that of the Southern Black Widow. Spasmodic abdominal pain, headaches, muscle aches or high blood pressure can be the result. The wound turns red and swells. Symptoms will not resolve until after a few days without treatment. Only when threatened does such a spider bite. Incidentally, she was also spotted in Germany and other central European countries.
The greater weaver/lesser weaver (Trachinus draco, Echiichthys vipera) is a fish that causes quite a lot of pain with its sting. It is 1 to 40 cm (0.5 to 15 inches) long. Accidents usually happen by stepping on a fish hiding in the sand. A sting should not be taken lightly. It can cause significant complaints. Cooling is the wrong way - rather immediate disinfection, squeezing out of the wound and hot water (as hot as it is bearable) or heating the wound, for example with the help of a magnifying glass.
That other animals such as deer, horses or free-roaming cattle and cows or wild boars are not toys or stuffed animals, should also be clear. Respectful distance is always advisable when encountering an animal. The dogs of Sardinia can sometimes be annoying because they often run free or have sometimes been abandoned by the owner. Some are watchdogs for the sheep. They make a lot of noise and can be scary, especially for hikers. If you feel threatened: Collect a stone on the way and keep ready. If a dog runs on one, then you can imitate the throwing of a stone (please do not throw). The dogs of Sardinia know this - unfortunately - and are then quickly gone. This measure should only apply to emergencies.
The wildlife in Sardinia can be observed on site. Particularly common and obvious are lizards, flamingos and turtles as well as wild horses and the white donkeys of the island of Asinara. Other wildlife such as the Sardinian deer are rarely seen.
Flamingos on Sardinia
Graceful flamingos in Sardinia are a peculiarity of the island and extremely popular. You will find them in large numbers around the capital Cagliari and also around Oristano (mainly at the port of Oristano) they are found in large numbers. In the north of the island they are found only sporadically - for example, in the Stagno of San Teodoro or Budoni (Baia di Budoni). Strictly speaking, it is Rosaflamingos, which are found in Sardinia.
The moufflon is a wild animal with large curved horns. It is also found in other regions of Europe, but originally comes from Sardinia and Corsica. They like dry and stony surroundings. The mountains of Sardinia are therefore an ideal habitat for these wild animals. The European moufflon lives mostly in pack with an old sheep that is leading the flock. They are shy and flee into very unfavorable rocks, their camouflage is perfectly adapted to such regions, so they are rarely being spotted.
They are almost never mentioned and some people do not like them. Although they are really pretty animals: Lizards. They are everywhere in Sardinia and like to warm themselves in the sun on the heated stones. The shy and watchful animals disappear quickly if you come too close.
Tortoises are widespread in Sardinia. You will find them in the spring - when the grass is high - in the middle of the meadows and sprouting grasses.
The white donkeys of the Asinara Island
They are famous - the white donkeys of the island of Asinara in the north of Sardinia. You can reach the island Asinara from Porto Torres by boat. Nobody knows how the white donkeys could develop or where they came from. But: They are white with blue eyes and the symbol of the island Asinara.
Wild boars, wild horses, Sardinian deer and more
The Sardinian deer lives in the mountains and forests of Sardinia. Horses are found everywhere in Sardinia. But there is one very special place: The high plain Giara di Gesturi. The plateau is a refuge for wild horses. The wild horses of Sardinia on the extensive Giara is a must see for fans of animals or horses. Wild boars and wild pigs live all over Sardinia. If you want to go hiking, you should plan to be back before nightfall, because the wild boars like to come out of the cover at dusk. Fortunately, wild pigs are clearly distinguishable from wild boars, they are more like the domestic pig. Also the pilgrim falcon is found in Sardinia as well as the wagtail, which is extremely rare.
Dolphins, Sea Turtle and more
Underwater is the sea turtle and also dolphins live along the coast of Sardinia. Wreckfish, bream and other species of fish of the Mediterranean are of course also found. Even rays live in the waters of Sardinia - but you rarely see them.
Flora of Sardinia: Plants on Sardinia
The ample and diverse world of plants in Sardinia is not easy to describe. However, you should know a few highlights. The flowers, grasses and trees growing on sardines are different from the ones growing in central europe or northern america. This also creates relief for people sufferung from allergies. The hay fever usually takes a break even in lush flowering Sardinia.
Cacti are known to be frugal plants and can store a lot of water. In the hot summer months, the spiny plants are the winners of the very warm climate: They sprout everywhere - especially in the south of Sardinia. Often they are also used as a protective hedge in the fields. The prickly pear is therefore one of the fruits that are very common. Without appropriate knowledge, one should not try to harvest them yourself. The stings can cause painful injuries. The cactus bloom in spring is very nice to look at.
The eucalyptus trees can be found everywhere in Sardinia. They do not actually come from the island. Rather, they were planted about 150 years ago to dry the wet areas and swamps of the island. This has worked successfully, malaria and other diseases have been history ever since. The tall trees also provide shade and are beautiful to look at.
Cork trees and myrtle
Sardinia is one of the worlds largest producers of cork. You will find cork trees all around Sardinia, but mostly in the mountains and on Sardinias heights. Larger cork pieces are also used as a serving plate. You can buy them in the markets of Sardinia or in craft shops (Artiginia / Artigiano = handicraft). The myrtle belongs to the Mediterranean maquis and is used both as decoration and for various food producta. Mirto for exampele is a popular liqueur based on myrtle berries (more about gastronomic specialities).
Mediterranean herbs of all kinds
Especially in the mountains - but also in the lowlands - you will find spots in Sardinia that seem to be one botanical garden. Lavender, rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme and other Mediterranean herbs grow there in bulk. The rosemary is also used as a hedge plant or ornamental plant in the garden, reaching considerable heights.
Citrus fruits and more
Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges or tangerines thrive in Sardinia. Especially in the winter months until spring, they are ripe. Along larger plantations you can directly buy the delicious tasting oranges and lemons on the roadside. This is delicious and also much cheaper than any supermarket.
Especially around Oristano and along the Sinis peninsula are extensive artichoke fields. You can buy the fresh artichokes in smaller shops or directly on a farm. Beware - those who have never eaten artichokes should expect a prickly fruit. The artichoke hearts are of course the tastiest part. All other types of fruit and vegetables are also abundant in Sardinia.
The maquis is a term that is not too common. The mediterranean maquis refers to shallow-growing shrubs of the Mediterranean coastal regions. Along the coast of Sardinia, this vegetation is found practically everywhere. Inbetween the shrubs no other plants are to be found, so that sometimes result in paths through the maquis. The shrubs grow no higher than about 2 meters, sometimes the vegetation is also much flatter. The myrtle belongs to the typical Mediterranean maquis as well as the white flowers of the rockrose.