The Parco Nazionale dell'Arcipelago Toscano safeguards the delicate ecosystems of Elba's seven islands as well as the 600 sq km of sea that washes around them. It's Europe's largest protected marine area and is home to rare species such as the Neptune's shaving brush seaweed, unique to the archipelago.
Monk seals, driven from other islands by humans, still gambol in the deep underwater ravines off Montecristo. The islands serve as an essential rest stop for birds migrating between Europe and Africa. The shy red partridge survives on Elba and Pianosa and the archipelago supports more than a third of the world's population of the Corsican seagull, adopted as the national park's symbol.
On Elba, the park runs a visitor centre in Portoferraio.