|PROJECT REFERENCE||LIFE17 NAT/IT/000586|
|DURATION||01/07/2018 – 31/12/2023|
|TOTAL BUDGET||1,652,269.00 €|
|EU CONTRIBUTION||1,103,064.00 €|
|PROJECT LOCATION||Alsace (France), Eastern Macedonia & Thrace (Greece), Epirus (Greece), Northern Aegean (Greece), Lombardia (Italy) Emilia-Romagna (Italy), Lazio (Italy)|
The lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni) is a diurnal raptor that is a priority for conservation in Europe, where its breeding population stronghold is located in the Mediterranean region. The species suffered of a marked population decline in the second half of the twentieth century. According to niche modelling exercises, ongoing climate change is expected to result in range contraction in the Southern breeding range and expansion towards the north-east in the near future. The Central-Eastern Mediterranean region will thus play a crucial role for any future northward expansion, which will likely be triggered by those populations located at the North-Eastern distribution range margins. However, the persistence of these small and isolated populations is currently negatively affected by both intrinsic (e.g. small population size) and extrinsic (e.g. destruction of nest sites) threats.
The LIFE FALKON project aims to foster the resilience of the central-eastern European population of lesser kestrel to climate change, by improving the conservation status of Italian and Greek populations breeding at the north-eastern edge of the breeding range.
Specific objectives are to:
- Improve foraging and nesting habitat quality in farmland areas and Natura 2000 sites (SPAs) where the species breeds in the project areas;
- Establish a collaborative international network to support the implementation of conservation actions, population monitoring programmes and knowledge sharing across the central-eastern Mediterranean region, and foster replicability and transferability of project actions in south-eastern Europe;
- Promote public awareness concerning the lesser kestrel and biodiversity conservation in the north-eastern margins of its breeding range, with an emphasis on environmental education;
- Obtain an accurate assessment of the conservation status of those populations that are considered crucial for the species’ northward breeding expansion.
The project directly implements the Birds Directive, by targeting a species that is listed as a conservation priority.
- The provision of safe and viable artificial nesting sites for populations located in crucial areas for the expansion of the breeding range of lesser kestrel in response to climate change;
- Occupation of around 40% of nest boxes of the pairs currently breeding in all target populations by the end of the project;
- Colonisation of at least four out of five nesting towers built and at least one nest complex in each of three other project areas within the project’s timeframe;
- Raised awareness of at least 300 stakeholders about the importance of farmland biodiversity and practical lesser kestrel conservation by means of i) Rural Development Programme measures favouring foraging habitat quality and ii) building and renovation best practices, legal restrictions and technical solutions;
- A network of professional and conservationists established to work on lesser kestrel in the central-eastern Mediterranean region, with a special focus on the Balkan area;
- Raised awareness of over 13.000 people, including local communities, school pupils and tourists, about lesser kestrel and biodiversity conservation issues;
- Assessment of the conservation status of four distinct lesser kestrel populations located at the north-eastern margins of the distribution range, which are considered of crucial importance for the northward breeding range expansion.
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED
TARGET EU LEGISLATION
- Nature protection and Biodiversity
- Directive 79/409 – Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
NATURA 2000 SITES
|SPA||GR1130010||LIMNES VISTONIS, ISMARIS – LIMNOTHALASSES PORTO LAGOS, ALYKI PTELEA, XIROLIMNI, KARATZA|
|SPA||GR4110006||LIMNOS: LIMNES CHORTAROLIMNI KAI ALYKI, KOLPOS MOUDROU, ELOS DIAPORI KAI CHERSONISOS FAKOS|
|SCI||GR4110001||LIMNOS: CHORTAROLIMNI – LIMNI ALYKI KAI THALASSIA PERIOCHI|
|Coordinator||CNR-IRSA National Research Council – Water Research Institute|
|Partners||Hellenic Ornithological Society, Greece
Association des Agences de la Démocratie Locale, France
Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e Ricerca Ambientale – ISPRA (sede periferica ex-INFS), Italy