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Parc Natural del penyal d'Ifac

El Penyal d’Ifac is located in the municipality of Calp and was declared a natural park on the 19th of January, 1987.

Covering an area of 53.3 hectares, this limestone outcrop, connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, rises 332 metres above sea level and is one kilometre long. El Penyal d’Ifac is part of the Baetic range, a mountain chain that stretches between Cadiz and Alacant and that extends under the Mediterranean Sea to the Balearic Islands. Therefore, its geological history is linked to that of this mountain range.

Its vertical nature, the steep slopes and the predominance of rock have been decisive for the development of the natural environment. Several environmental factors coexist along the outcrop, such as salinity, waves, wind and temperature. The combination of all these elements with the relief and the nature of the soil leads to a great variety of habitats, and in each of them there is a community of plants and animals.
In the submerged rocky area there are algae such as the Mediterranean acetabular or green algae, invertebrates such as the spirograph worm, the common anemone, or the red sea star, in addition to fish adapted to life among the rocks, such as the tompot blenny.

In the rocky places between areas of water, there are organisms firmly attached to the rock, such as calcareous algae, limpets or marbled crabs.

In the rocky splash area, higher plants cannot grow, only the lichen Verrucaria symbalana, accompanied by sea snails and balanus.

In areas subjected to environmental salinity and that have hardly any soil, sea fennel, limonium and European shag find an ideal habitat.

In areas that lack environmental salinity and that have a certain amount of soil, there are small bushes such as thyme or asparagus, large shrubs such as the mastic tree or the buckthorn, as well as lizards such as the large psammodromus and small birds, mainly insectivores, such as the lesser whitethroat, or micromammals such as the field mouse or the grey shrew.

Within the high rock community, among the plants one finds Silene hifacencis and Asperaula paui. Among the fauna, there are birds such as the common swift, the peregrine falcon and the European shag.

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