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Island conservation in Tuscany, restoring habitat not only for birds (RESTO CON LIFE)
Start date: Jun 1, 2014, End date: Dec 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background Several habitat and species found on the islands of the national park are seriously threatened by alien animal species (e.g. rodents, feral cats, hedgehogs, game birds) and by alien plant species (e.g. Carpobrotus spp., Eucalyptus camaludulensis). Control measures to eradicate these alien species are necessary in order to restore the natural island communities. Moreover, recovery actions are required to protect habitats, such as the only dune system in the whole archipelago. Objectives The objectives of the project can be summarised as follows: Eradication of alien animal species in order to restore the natural island communities and/or to improve the breeding performances of autochthonous species; Direct restoration of endemic species communities by means of attraction devices for seabirds, passive translocation for sedentary species and habitat enlargement/restoration; Eradication of invasive alien plants in Giannutri, Pianosa and the Montecristo islands; Fencing off key land plots in Elba and the Montecristo islands to protect them from pressures by alien ungulates (hoofed mammals); and Habitat management of the Lacona dune system using modern bioengineering structures. Expected results: Pianosa and Montecristo: Increased productivity and population size of seabirds (L. audouinii and C. diomedea); Attracting new breeding species (e.g. P. yelkouan and H. Pelagicus); Improving habitat conditions for bird species breeding on the ground (e.g. L. collurio and C. europaeus), reptiles, invertebrates and vegetation; and Restoration of natural habitats without reducing food resources for migratory raptors. Giannutri: The protection of about six ha of coastal habitat (cliff vegetation, salt marshes and dry grasslands) through the eradication of Carpobrotus spp; and Eradication of other alien plants in the areas that have been affected the most. Pianosa: Protection of about ten ha of habitats (Juniperus matorral and dry grasslands) by controlling Eucalyptus camaludulensis; and Re-establishing holm oaks in deteriorated pine forests. Montecristo: Eradication of alien plants to recover five ha of deteriorated landscape around “Cala Maestra”; Strengthening about 3.5 ha of four types of Annex I habitats; Managing the wild goat population in order to avoid excessive pressure on 45 ha of habitat; and New facilities to host and inform visitors about the local habitat management activities carried out under different LIFE projects. Ripa Barata (Elba): Increase the annual productivity of the population of L. audouinii. Lacona (Elba): Restoration actions for several Annex I listed dune habitats; and Protection of the dune system from erosion and excessive human activities.
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