Tabarca is a small Mediterranean island located in front of the port of Santa Pola, a little more than twenty kilometers from Alicante. It is the only inhabited island in the Valencian Community and its waters are considered a Mediterranean Marine Reserve for their excellent quality and biodiversity of flora and fauna.
Tabarca’s marine reserve is the oldest in Spain. According to the latest studies, its seabed could house half of the species of flora and fauna living in the Mediterranean. Although, so far, more than 4,000 species have been classified in the 1,400 underwater hectares of the archipelago and its surroundings.
The main species in this marine reserve is the Posidonia oceanica. This plant is also in charge of producing oxygen and serving as food and shelter for many marine species. Posidonia is, in short, the basis of the balance of the entire ecosystem that lives in Tabarca.
Within the terrestrial flora, the presence of the coastal hawthorn and three bush species stands out: the white asparagus, the bufera and the hawthorn. Lichens are also present in large numbers, especially along the coast in the northern part of the island.
The fauna of Tabarca
The terrestrial fauna presents certain species, such as the Iberian skiff. Although what abounds especially are the marine birds. Here we can find species such as the Audouin’s gull, the tufted cormorant, the common gannet and the common paiño.
In the marine environment we can observe fishes like the grouper, the dot, the cherre, the gypsy, the dentex, the gilthead bream and the snapper. You can also see redheaded molluscs, nacras, gorgonians, sea urchins, starfish, crabs, snails and sponges. Not to mention some adult loggerhead turtles.