|Where it is||Portoferraio - c/o Forte Inglese|
|How to get there||Start off from via San Rocco that runs alongside via Carducci, not far from the hospital, and keep going until you get to the car park at the English Fort.|
|Opening times||Days when the English Fort is open|
The Nat-Lab natural history museum is both a museum and a natural history laboratory and is inside the English Fort in Portoferraio; here you can see entomological, zoological and botanical collections from the Tuscan Archipelago.It is thanks to Leonardo Forbicioni that the museum exists, because his dream was to provide a home to all those who love, study and try to protect the incredible environmental heritage to be found within the Tuscan Archipelago National Park; this very territory has been granted the title of Biosphere Reserve as part of the UNESCO MaB Programme.
As you learn everything about biodiversity, the unbelievable way each and every form of life is different, and study it in all its different habitats - earth, water and air, even just a short visit will make you feel a real naturalist.
A visit to the museum is more a multimedia journey that you will find deeply involving. There is a tablet in the middle of each room in the museum to help you learn any extra information about each species on show, and it also gives you more details, descriptions, photographs as well as a film you can watch. The showcase showing the animal you are reading about lights up thanks to a system that picks it out and turns on the LED lights.
In the museum there is also an Android and Apple APP that enables you to discover all the species on show in the museum thanks to a very detailed description with photos, videos and audios: NatLab.
It is called Meira and Meira tedeschi is its scientific name. This is a tiny insect, only one of its kind in the world, and its endemism is so unique that it is found only on the Island of Elba, on the slopes of Monte Calamita in the municipality off Capoliveri, and in no other place on earth. It is also the only member of this species found in the whole Tuscan Archipelago.
As with almost all the beetles of this species, very little is known about their biology. It lives in extremely generic habitats and it is found in the subsoil accumulated at the roots of shrubs like French lavender, heather, cistus and helychrisum. It survives well in areas facing south even at the peak of summer when when the temperature is very high, and it is probably able to do this because it slows down everything it does when the sun is at its hottest.
It can be found anywhere in Monte Calamita, from the peak right down to sea level, but the high number of wild boars that continually dig and uproot the subsoil modify the areas where this insect lives to the point that the well being of this precious endemism is seriously at risk.
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