Project Support for 2020
The trustees of LIPU-UK have examined candidates proposed by Claudio Celada (LIPU Conservation Director), and decided with enthusiasm to raise the funds needed for the following projects in 2020.
1. Recovery Centres
There is still a shortage of state/regional funding for the hospitals managed by LIPU, so we will be supporting with funds to help with their running costs, medicines, food, X-Rays etc. The centres will be the same as last year: La Fagiana (see my recent blog post) 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 casualties 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.Last year LIPU-UK funds (€ 7,000) made it possible to monitor a total of 7 nests in two of the three camps. The cooperation with Carabinieri is working well. Volunteers provide important information to LEAs. As a result 10 poachers will undergo trial. Intelligence activity made it possible to proof that poachers focus their efforts on the few nests that are not monitored by the volunteers. Five juvenile Peregrine falcons that have been taken seized from the poachers were successfully reintroduced in a natural setting. The work goes on and we will continue 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.
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. At a review there was a strong feeling that the project is well worth the investment considering the importance of this bottle-neck and the success in reducing poaching. Our recommendation is to continue this project, to look for liaisons with other scientific organisations, and to improve co-operation with the anti-poaching camp.
5. Red-footed Falcon
In 2019, Parma Local Conservation Group completed the monitoring of breeding success of the species. 75 pairs have been censused (down from 80 pairs in 2018). 70 % of pairs bred in nest boxes provided by LIPU. A total of 135 pulli were colour-ringed. Further work is needed to determine how best to help this lovely falcon in its Italian stronghold.
6. Kentish Plover in Sardinia
In 2019 monitoring has been regularly completed. Data are being analyzed and results will be available before the end of the year 2019. Action on the ground will follow and we are helping to fund this.
7. Alpine Birds and Climate Change
It appears that climate change is adversely affecting the natural habitat of the Ptarmigan and, perhaps even more, that suitable for Snowfinch and Water Pipit. A great deal of research work is needed to find the best methods of managing the environment for the benefit of these species. Degradation of high altitude meadows could be slowed, or stopped, and it is hoped to develop methods which can be replicated throughout the country.
8. Lanner Falcon Protection in Tuscany
The Lanner falcon is an endangered species and is threatened by illegal poaching for the falconry trade. A small number of these falcons breed in Tuscany and it is planned to test the techniques proven with Bonelli’s Eagles in Sardinia at these more northerly sites. If successful the methods will be extended to more southerly sites and to those in Sicily.
One of last year’s projects didn’t need all of the funds allocated to it and we have agreed that LIPU should direct that money to a new project in Sicily – to protect breeding Collared Pratincoles. For more detail see the recent blog post by trustee, Matt Hines.
We are setting ourselves a similar target to that of last year and we plan to raise almost €100,000 to help LIPU achieve success in these 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.