email a friend
printable version
Location Italy, Sicilia
Central coordinates 12o 47.00' East  38o 3.00' North
IBA criteria A3, B2, C6
Area 12,350 ha
Altitude 0 - 1,110m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli

Site description A mountain peninsula along the northern coast of Sicily, west of the town of Castellamare del Golfo, and including the following localities: Monte Sparagio, Monte Cofano, Monte Inici, Capo Puntazza, Lo Zingaro, Monte Speziale, and S. Vito lo Capo. The main habitats are rocky sea cliffs, stony and sand beaches, maquis, garrigue and cultivated land. The main land-uses are cultivation, stock-rearing and tourism.

Key Biodiversity An important breeding area for raptors and for five of the 20 species of the Mediterranean biome.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca resident  1996  40 breeding pairs  A3, C6  Near Threatened 
Falco peregrinus resident  1996  11 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Not Recognised 
Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus resident  1996  2 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Bonelli's Eagle Aquila fasciata resident  1997  4 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata resident  1996  common  A3  Least Concern 
Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala resident  1996  abundant  A3  Least Concern 
Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans breeding  1996  abundant  A3  Least Concern 
Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor resident  1996  common  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Capo San Vito, Monte Monaco, Zingaro, Faraglioni Scopello, Monte Sparacio - ITA010017 Habitats Directive 7,293 protected area contained by site 7,293  
Complesso Monti di Castellammare del Golfo (TP) - ITA010015 Habitats Directive 2,397 protected area contained by site 2,397  
Fondali del Golfo di Custonaci - ITA010025 Habitats Directive 1,128 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Monte Cofano e Litorale - ITA010016 Habitats Directive 561 protected area overlaps with site 432  
Monte Cofano, Capo San Vito e Monte Sparagio - ITA010029 Birds Directive 15,254 is identical to site 12,350  
Riserva naturale orientata dello Zingaro Regional/Provincial Nature Reserve 1,600 protected area contained by site 1,600  
Riserva naturale orientata Monte Cofano Regional/Provincial Nature Reserve 538 protected area contained by site 537  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   5%
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis; Scrub  65%
Grassland Steppes and dry calcareous grassland  5%
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -
Artificial - terrestrial Forestry plantations; Ruderal land  10%
Caves and subterranean habitats (non-aquatic) Caves  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 20%
forestry 5%
hunting 25%
nature conservation and research 23%
tourism/recreation 20%

Protection status National Partial International Unknown537 ha of IBA covered by Regional Nature Reserve (Monte Cofano, 537 ha). 1,600 ha of IBA covered by Regional Nature Reserve (Zingaro, 1,600 ha). Overlaps with SPA.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mount Cofano, Cape San Vito and Mount Sparagio. Downloaded from on 18/04/2015

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife