Aiming High – Project Support for 2019
After a series of successful years the British section of LIPU decided, after consultation with Claudio Celada (LIPU Conservation Director), to raise the funds needed for the following projects in 2019.
1. Recovery Centres
Two of the hospitals managed by LIPU will be supported with funds to help with their running costs, medicines, food, X-Rays etc. The centres are La Fagiana which is to the west of Milan near the River Ticino and CRUMA , the centre specialising in water birds but dealing with any and all caualties brought in, CRUMA is situated on the outskirts of Livorno.
2. Bonelli’s Eagle Protection
LIPU is one of a number of organisations protecting the nest sites of Bonelli’s Eagles in Sicily (see earlier blog posts) and has been helped by LIPU-UK for many years. Remote motion-triggered cameras connected to mobile phones play a large part in the surveillance of nest sites and a team of volunteers operate in shifts to keep the areas under scrutiny. Transport and accommodation is needed for the volunteers as well as extending and replacing the camera cover – we’re pleased to help.
Poaching, or illegal killing (IK) was the reason for the foundation of LIPU-UK in 1989 and our support for LIPU’s work in this field has been constant since then. The situation on the Messina Strait is dramatically improved compared with the worst times at the end of the last century but the protection work continues here as well as in other parts of Italy where trapping is still a major problem. From the hills above Brescia, in the north, to Sardinia teams of volunteers confiscate traps and report offenders in a joint effort with the Carabinieri. This year the capture of Skylarks in Puglia, using mist nets, is being monitored and direct action will follow.
4. Monitoring of Raptor Migration and Messina Surveillance
We have supported this project since 2004 and the value has been proved year after year. Research into the flight paths and roosting areas of migrant raptors in the spring provided a strong dataset after a few years and this continues to improve. This work fits very well with the anti-poaching work above and by using mobile telephones the observers can report sightings to many others involved in similar work and to the forces of law enforcement.
5. Red-footed Falcon
This lovely falcon has established a colony in Parma province and we have helped by providing nest boxes which are used by 70% of the birds. In 2018 a total of 85 pairs were counted in the province and in the coming year this population, the most important in Italy, will be studied and 4 birds will be fitted with loggers and tracked from June to November.
6. Kentish Plover in Sardinia
Work in 2018 suggested that the Sardinian population of this plover has crashed since the previous survey in 2009. Many causes have been suggested and some were confirmed last year but the weather conditions were unusual and more observation is needed for the data be to reliable. LIPU will replicate the 2018 surveys in the coming year to try to find ways of preventing further declines of this species in Italy.
7. Rock Ptarmigan in the Alps
It appears that climate change is adversely affecting the natural habitat of the Ptarmigan and further pressures come from human activities such as tourism for winter sports. Much research into all the relevant factors affecting the decline of this bird is needed in order to arrest the decline is this proves possible.
8. Update of the Important Bird Areas (IBA) Inventory
LIPU provided the comprehensive survey data for the first published list of IBAs in 2000 and minor revisions since then. However, in order to maintain the validity of the data there is an urgent need for a thorough review. Since the original IBA definition much has changed with the introduction of Natura 2000 within the EU and now the Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) at an international level. LIPU will steer the Italian work toward KBAs and the existing data for the nationally designated IBAs will contribute to this.
We are setting ourselves a higher target than ever before and this coming year plan to raise almost €100,000 to help LIPU achieve success in these eight projects. Please consider helping us – any contribution no matter how large or small will be helpful, there is a Donate tab at the top of the page or use the Contact form for more information – Thank you.