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Biotope of San Daniele

Biotope of San Daniele

Biotope of San Daniele

Also called "Lago Verde”, the Green Lake, it is now one of the rare wetlands of the Euganean Hills

The biotope of San Daniele can be easily reached by bike along the stretch of the Euganean Hills cycle-ring that connects Montegrotto Terme with the territory of Torreglia, whose northern border includes the Lake. 

In addition, the site is accessible also from the Provincial Road 43, near the intersection with Via Monte Solone where to take the driveway. The place is locally known as "Green Lake", thanks to the famous sport fishing. However, this is not a single expanse of water: in reality it consists of a series of artificial reservoirs formed as a result of excavation and extraction of clay used for the production of bricks and tiles, in the kilns or furnaces (no longer existing now) in the nearby Monteortone. 

Besides having different depths, the various basins of the habitat of San Daniele also show varying degrees of naturalization. The ones that have been abandoned for the longest time include a greater number of both herbaceous and tree species within the basin and on the banks. Those still used for sport fishing are instead dug periodically and their banks are often mown: they offer therefore a smaller variety of vegetation. 

The highest degree of naturalization is located in the inner area of the biotope, whereas the first two tanks we encounter are used for sport fishing. Walking along the path that skirts and connects the various basins, we can notice the environment of the residual alluvial forest has been recreated with black alder (Alnus glutinosa L.), which contains some specimens of red willow ¬_Salix purpurea L._ (quite rare in the Euganean territory) and of buckthorn (Frangula alnus L.).

Some wooden hanging walkways have been installed in order to facilitate the path along the shores in the biotope of San Daniele. This way they allow visitors to walk above the water surface and the more swampy areas, enabling to closely observe the both fauna and vegetation existing in the site. In addition to rare species of flora, the habitat also includes a great diversity of wildlife: fish (among which the carp excels: Cyprinus carpio), amphibians and reptiles (including the European tortoise: Emys orbicularis L., which is extinct in many other sites owing to more aggressive non-native, allochthonous species, water birds such as the little egret (Egretta egret L.) or the gray heron (Ardea cinerea) and other birds including the rare pendulum (Remiz pendulinus L.). However, the most interesting species that can be traced in the oasis is a small invertebrate found anywhere else, the earwig (Bidens cernua L.). 

Lakes and ponds are partly fed by the Scolo Rialto, the canal collecting spring water from the Euganean Hills northern slopes and thermal waters coming from Abano and Montegrotto. In the past, the whole area was subject to frequent flooding of the Rialto channel, while today the divers actions for water regulation deeply curbed these phenomena, although they are not totally averted. Frequently, after heavy rains, many ditches are totally filled and the edges of fields are covered with a film of water, allowing the survival of many hygrophile plants, some of which are in the process of rarefaction in the entire Po Valley. 

Nowadays, the worst dangers to the survival of the San Daniele wetland habitat are represented by pollution, by the advance of overbuilding and the invasive agricultural practices. In recent years, lots of endeavours have been attempted to safeguard the delicate balance of the biotope, which is partly privately owned. It is hoped that the area manage to preserve its peculiarities, considering that the foothill territory has always been a wetland, since ancient times.

Iniziativa finanziata dal Programma di sviluppo rurale per il Veneto 2014-2020
Organismo responsabile dell'informazione: GAL Patavino.
Autorità di gestione: Regione del Veneto
- Direzione AdG FEASR Parchi e Foreste -