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The Monte Conca Nature Reserve is about 245 hectares wide and falls within the territories of Milena and Campofranco. This reserve was established in 1995 by the Sicilian Region and has been entrusted to manage an environmental association, the Italian Alpine Club, which takes care of its surveillance, use, enhancement and conservation of the natural environment. The entire area of ​​the reserve is crossed by the Gallo d’Oro river, which flows into the Platani river.

Inside the Reserve we find two important caves, the sinkhole and the Resurgence of Monte Conca. The discovery and exploration of these two caves dates back to 1970, by the speleologists of the Italian Alpine Club, on the recommendation of local enthusiasts. There are over thirty natural cavities present in the reserve, both karstic and tectonic in nature. The territory of the protected area also has many aspects, both in terms of vegetation and fauna, which make it of considerable naturalistic interest. Furthermore, the remains of a fortified settlement, destroyed during the Arab invasion of Sicily, have been found on the top of Monte Conca. The reserve can be visited thanks to a path network of over 17 kilometers adequately equipped with signs indicating water distribution points.

After years of progressive impoverishment of the animal species by hunters and poachers, the imposition of a ban on hunting following the establishment of the Reserve has also allowed for a moderate improvement in the situation. So mammals such as foxes, hedgehogs, porcupines, hares, rabbits and wild cats, difficult to spot, have once again become habitual inhabitants of the Reserve’s territory. Among the birds, in addition to the passerines, we must mention some species of diurnal birds of prey such as the kestrel, the peregrine falcon and the buzzard. Numerous species of insects, butterflies and beetles, to name the best known, populate the Reserve. The brackish waters of the river are inhabited by eels and shrimps as well as amphibians such as frogs and turtles.

The Reserve area, due to its position, placed at the crossroads of important river and land communication routes, has always held a notable strategic importance as evidenced by multiple historical, archaeological and anthropic emergencies. The first traces of man in the territory of the Reserve date back to the Neolithic age; hut villages, tholos tombs, are evidence of its ancient settlement. The top of Monte Conca in the Byzantine era was fortified by building a castle and some portions of the walls; the fortification was destroyed during the Arab invasion. Documentary sources dating back to about 1200 attest how the area of ​​the Reserve was affected by a remarkable road system whose traces can be read today in the imposing ruins of a bridge over the Gallo d’Oro river and in some stretches of paved road. In more recent times, sulfur mines, works for the intake and conduction of fresh water that flow from the resurgence of Monte Conca or from the Fontana di Rose spring, underground limestone quarries, all testify to man’s unaltered interest in this area.