Island of Mal di Ventre
The island of Mal di Ventre has a surface of 0.80 km and has a flat aspect, with the maximum altitude of just 18 m a.s.l. There is a spring water pool which allows the survival of some species of small mammals, reptiles and birds. During the Second World War, the bombers dropped several bombs on the island, creating several craters, some of which filled with rainwater during the winter season. Its geological origin is very ancient and dates back to the late Carboniferous; The outcrop of the island is part of a granite complex, largely submerged, which extends from south to north in front of the coast of the Sinis Peninsula and represents the only paleozoic formation in the area. The geological formations of Sinis, in fact, have more recent origins, as they consist of the outcrop of limestone deposits and Andesitic lavas from the Miocene and basaltic lavas and limestone sandstone deposits from the Pliocene. The east coast that turns to Sardinia is mostly sandy, with some small coves that facilitate the landing. The western coast, on the other hand, is relatively high and rocky and does not offer safe landings as it is exposed to the mistral wind, which blows particularly intensely in this part of the island. The seabed around the island is rocky.
The vegetation is represented by the low Mediterranean maquis consisting of essences such as mastic (Pistacia lentiscus), cistus, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and dwarf palm (Chamaerops humilis) as well as low herbs. The bushes are sculpted and shaped by the constant action of the mistral wind.
According to the explorer Alberto La Marmora, monk seals (Monachus monachus) were once present. Among the only mammals present on the island are: wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and small white mice (Mus musculus) or house mouse. The avifauna is instead represented by different species of seabirds among which the cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo), the greater berta (Calonectris diomedea), the smaller berta (Puffinus puffinus), the herring gull (Larus michahellis), the Corsican gull ( Ichthyaetus audouinii) and the Queen’s falcon (Falco eleonorae). Common reptiles on the island are tortoises.