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History and heritageBetween 1988 and 1993, Palma City Council acquired the two plots that comprise the es Carnatge public space

The coastal area between Cala Pudent and the anti-aircraft batteries of Can Pastilla and the islet of sa Galera was declared a natural area of special interest (ANEI). In addition, Palma’s land-use plan classifies this area as a public free-space (ELP) and as a centre of cultural interest (CIC) owing to its paleontological value. 5

The name es Carnatge refers to the activity of eliminating and making use of dead livestock that took place in the houses in this location between the last decade of the nineteenth century and 1959. Nowadays, es Carnatge has small sandy coves and rocky access to the sea as well as a coast path with access for cyclists and walkers.2

Cala Pudent has an area of flat land in its most inland part where various sandstone quarries are found. These were in operation during the twentieth century once the ones at Coll d’en Rabassa were exhausted. This area is also used by the army as an area for manoeuvres with mobile artillery. Continuing along this plain, we come to a small hillock where an anti-aircraft battery was built, comprising four circular emplacements excavated for the cannons, rangefinder, goniometer and command post. They were linked by a subterranean gallery with storage spaces.

Archaeological remains from human activity have been found around these locations dating to the period when Mallorca was Muslim controlled, the ninth and twelfth centuries AD. Ceramic findings such as the remains of a water wheel and a decorated jug indicate the presence of an agricultural holding. In the early 1960s, numerous fragments of Punic ceramic and a copper hook were found. A small pre-Roman burial cave was also found, of which the circular trace of the base currently remains.3

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Marine ecosystem

Two main species of marine plants are found in the marine ecosystem of es Carnatge. The main one is Neptune grass (Posidonia oceanica), which is typical of all of the bay of Palma and is predominant on the seabed in the most eastern part of es Carnatge. Neptune grass forms large meadows, which are highly productive ecosystems with a large number of microhabitats where a wide diversity of species live. Little Neptune grass (Cymodocea nodosa) can also be found, covering a smaller area than the Neptune grass and occupying shallow areas with a sandy substrate.

In the rocky areas found between these meadows, the algae “cistoseira balear” (Cystoseira balearica), peacock’s tail (Padina pavonica) and “acetabulària mediterrània” (Acetabularia acetabulum) can usually be found in large quantities, and if there is sand between the rocks, Halimeda tuna, Dasycladus vermicularis and “peluqueta” (Codium vermilara) can also be seen.

In the supra-littoral zone, species typical of marine rocks can be found: Crithmo limonietea, preceded by the lichen Verrucaria amphibia in the zone closest to the sea. It is also worth noting the presence of a species, Hildenbrandia prototypus.

Diverse marine fauna can be found thanks to the range of habitats here. Molluscs are also worth noting, with species such as the common pandora (Patella sp.), the spiny-dye murex (Haustellum brandaris), turban shells (Astraea rugosa), ceriths (Cerithium vulgatum) and the small periwinkle (Littorina neritoides). The marbled rock crab (Pachygrapsus marmoratus), sea urchins, like the purple sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) and sea anemones (Actiniaria sp.) can also be found here. Some examples of the noble pen shell (Pinna nobilis), a protected species, have been found.

A pair of Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus monachus) lived in the cove of es Gató in the first decade of the twentieth century. Until the start of the twentieth century, there were stable colonies of this species in much of the Balearic Islands but it is now on the list of the 10 species at the greatest risk of extinction.5

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Plant species of interest

Plants’ survival in the coastal land environment of Es Carnatge is connected to them being adapted to the requirements of the area, such as being resistant to drought, salinity, wind and the sandy substrate.

The predominant coastal species in Es Carnatge are: samphire (Crithmum maritimum), sea lavender (Limonium companyonis), the gold coin daisy (Asteriscus maritimus) and tree purslane (Atriplex halimus). From Punta del Reflector to Cala Pudent, alkali seepweed (Suaeda vera) and glaucous glasswort (Arthrocnemum macrostachyum) are abundant. Other coastal species worth mentioning are grey bird’s-foot-trefoil (Lotus cytisoides), the horned poppy (Glaucium flavum), common shrubby everlasting (Helichrysum stoechas), sea heath (Frankenia laevis), Algerian tea (Paronychia argentea), Asparagus horridus, European searocket (Cakile maritima) and salt cedar (Tamarix sp.), which is the only shrub in this coastal zone.

In the Camp de Tir area, close to the promenade, shrubby species grow such as false yellowhead (Dittrichia viscosa), sterile oat (Avena sterilis), annual saltmarsh aster (Aster squamamatus), field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), chicory (Cichorium intybus), summer asphodel (Asphodelus aestivus) and silvery plantain (Plantago albicans).

Further inland, before reaching the promenade, there are shrubby species adapted to the fossil dune soils like grey bird’s-foot-trefoil (Lotus cytisoides) shaggy sparrow-wort (Thymelaea hirsuta), felty germander (Teucrium capitatum), “fumana” (Fumana laevis) and yellow rockrose (Helianthemum marifolium (L.) Mill. subsp. origanifolium), a plant classed as being at risk of extinction, which in all of Mallorca is only found in this area.

On the inland side of the promenade, a project to create artificial dunes and plantations has been implemented. This area has woodland with “savina” (Juniperus phoenicae subsp. turbinata) and other species such as Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis), Spanish moon trefoil (Medicago citrina), albaida broom (Anthyllis cytisoides), joint pine (Ephedra fragilis), the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and the white-leaved rock rose (Cistus albidus).5

Animal species of interest

There is very little mammal fauna in Es Carnatge as it is in a built-up area and has a large amount of human activity.

Among the vertebrates, the most interesting group is the birds. Various species of sea bird can be seen in the area of es Carnatge owing to its coastal nature. The shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) can often be seen on the rocks or swimming to find fish. It is also common to see the Caspian gull (Larus cachinnans), Audoin’s gull (Larus audouinii), which is endemic to the Mediterranean. The Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus), which is endemic to the Balearic Islands and at risk of extinction, can also be seen, albeit less commonly. In winter the black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) and the cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) are also common.

In addition, the Sandwich tern (Sterna sandvicensis), the Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), which is a protected species, and the ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula) can also be seen more frequently. Other birds that can be seen on the coast are the common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) and the ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres).

As for birds found on land, the African stonechat (Saxicola torquata) can often be seen in trees. It is also quite common to see the blackbird (Turdus merula), the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) and the Sardinian warbler (Sylvia melanocephala). The hoopoe (Upupa epops) and Thekla's lark (Galerida theklae) are found there less frequently. Robins (Erithacus rubecula) and meadow pipits (Anthus pratensis) come to these spaces in the winter.

The pine wood area is home to typical woodland species, such as the goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), the greenfinch (Carduelis chloris), the serin (Serinus serinus) and the wood pigeon (Columba palumbus). The swift (Apus apus) and the kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) are often seen over Es Carnatge.

As for invertebrate fauna, it is worth noting the presence of the Pimelia criba beetle, a species endemic to the Balearics.5


Geological and paleontological values

Major deposits of sandstone can be found in the area of es Carnatge, formed by the cementing of sand from the dunes that were created during the penultimate glacial period, 200,000 years ago. This glaciation caused a fall in sea level, leaving large amounts of marine sand exposed to the action of the wind and leading to the formation of dunes, which were later cemented as sandstone deposits. The quarries reveal the wave-like structure created by the action of the wind, the imprints of roots, of fossilised invertebrates and footprints of a vertebrate fossil, the Myotragus balearicus.

One of the Balearic Islands’ most important archaeological sites from the Late Pleistocene is found in Cala Pudent and in the houses of es Carnatge.

There were long glacial periods during the Pleistocene. In an ice age there are colder eras called glacial periods, where the ice advances, and interglacials where it retreats. This alternation is marked by fluctuations in sea level that leave their mark as forms of erosion or as accumulated deposits compared with the current level.

The deposits that can be seen in the central area of Cala Pudent comprise fossils superimposed with fauna favouring warm conditions. At the top, there is a reddish-yellow extract with land molluscs and bivalves. Beach deposits with abundant Strombus bubonis (fauna typical of warm locations and currently still found in Senegal) are found over these layers and finally there is yellow mud with land molluscs.

The other major site is located opposite the houses of es Carnatge, where beach deposits with Strombus bubonis can be made out, separated by a thin layer of red mud. The upper layer is a beach conglomerate with numerous Acar plicata fossils. 5


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