Bosco Incoronata Regional Park lies at about 12 kilometers from the
town of Foggia, in the heart of Tavoliere delle Puglie. It is delimited
in the north by the stream Cervaro, in the south by its ancient
riverbed, in the east by the bridge of the road SS 16, and in the west
by the borders of the Municipality of Foggia near Mass. Ponte Rotto.
The protected area, covering about 1,000 hectares, preserves a small
strip of natural vegetation within an intensely cultivated territory.
At the moment, the forest area lapped by the stream Cervaro covers about 320 ha, out of which 162 with high-trunk forest and 115 with grassland. It is therefore a diversified territory representing the environments covering in the past most part of Tavoliere.
The Regional Park not only includes Bosco dell'Incoronata, but also part of the proposed Site of Community Importance (pSCI) called "Valle del Cervaro - Bosco dell'Incoronata" lying within the perimeter of the Municipality of Foggia.
The Park Environments
The Downy Oak forest: this habitat is particularly interesting and rare; as a matter of fact, the presence of oaks - in many cases centuries-old oaks - represents a unique genetic heritage of the original forests developing throughout Tavoliere before the great reclamation activities. The big oaks represent the ideal habitat for many animal species which, among their branches, roots, and fissures, conceal themselves or find a shelter.
The Stream Cervaro
It springs from Dauni Mountains, has a course of about 80 km and an average annual flow of a few cubic meter/second. It flows near Manfredonia Gulf, supplying with its waters the marsh of Oasi Lago Salso.
Drawing an ideal transept going from the banks of the stream Cervaro to the heart of the Park, we will meet first a strip growing only during a short period of the year, characterized by the presence of annual plants with a very fast biological cycle (mainly Polygonaceae and Gramineae).
The wildlife populating the Regional Park is very diversified thanks to the richness of the habitats characterizing the protected area (watercourses, pastures, forests, agricultural ecosystems, etc.).
The Province of Foggia is usually divided in three different
sub-regions: Tavoliere delle Puglie, Gargano Promontory, and Dauni
Mountains. Tavoliere is a large plateau, 80 km long and about 40 km
wide, covering over 3,000 square km, almost entirely cultivated with
cereals with rare presence of vineyards, olive groves, and vegetables
cultivations. Only a few and isolated areas have survived intensive
agriculture: among them, Bosco dell'Incoronata and the thin strips of
riparian forests along the watercourses, like those growing along the
Gargano is a hilly peninsula (with a few summits going beyond the 1,000m) which, thanks to its great environmental variety, is characterized by a great biodiversity. Dauni Mountains are different from the rest of the area both as far as geomorphology and climate are concerned: the latter is more similar to the climate of the Appennines rather than to the Mediterranean climate characterizing the other two sub-regions.