The Habitats of Catalonia List (LHC) records 25 different habitats in the Medes Islands and Montgrí Massif area, of which eleven are of community interest and three are priority habitats.
Flora and vegetation
The harsh climate conditions caused by wind, the high degree of salinity, and the incidence of marine bird droppings all strongly determine the vegetation on the Medes Islands. The vegetation has had to adapt to the geological situation of the islands and to the high rugged cliffs constantly at the mercy of diverse meteorological phenomena. The floristic interest of the Medes Islands lies in the nitrophile herb communities, which have adapted naturally, without human intervention, to the large quantities of droppings from the colonies of nesting marine birds.
The floristic features of the Montgrí Massif result from its distinctive geological relief and karstic morphology, its Mediterranean climate and thin, stony soil. The massif is a space of floristic singularities and peculiarities, with the coastal cliffs providing an ideal habitat for interesting rare plants, some of which are unique in Catalonia.
The underwater flora around the Medes Islands and along the coast of the Montgrí Massif is of unquestionable value in the marine ecosystem. Studies must be carried out in order to conserve the flora and the stability of the natural systems.
Birds are of special interest in the nature park, for the diversity of species and the protected species seeking refuge there. On the Montgrí Massif and the Medes Islands, 189 species have been recorded, of which marine birds, rupicolous birds and several birds of prey are well represented.
The great diversity of underwater fauna around the Medes Islands constitutes a complex ecosystem due to the existence of many different types of seabed and marine environment. These generate a wide variety of ecological niches occupied by species that have adapted to this type of habitat. The prohibition on removing natural resources from the strictly protected zone has resulted in frequent sightings of large densities of species (mainly fish) rarely found in other places. For this reason, the area also attracts divers from all over the world.
The territory of the nature park includes cultural landscapes that are unique in Catalonia. Here one can observe how man has interacted with the environment from the Paleolithic Age to the present day. The area is also outstanding for its great diversity of present-day landscapes. Overall, these spaces constitute a sample of the Baix Empordà landscape, which in itself constitutes a major value.