The practice describes the intervention made to satisfy the need to preserve a portion of the Malfiglio stream from external pressures in a Natura 2000 site
The intervention came from results of analysis carried out by Tor Vergata University researchers on water of a stream crossing a portion of a Natura 2000 site in Casacalenda area. The stream flows on a border of the reserve, inside a native oak woodland. The Casale woods is surrounded by crops which some of them were used for livestock grazing. For let the cows drink, the farmers used to cut bushes and branch to allow a better passage to the stream, causing an alarming problem for the purity of the water because the livestock excreta. All that requested a prompt and proper intervention able to preserve the erpetophauna habitat of the river (Norhern Spectacled Salamander, Apennines yellow-bellied toad, Italian Stream Frog). The best solution identified was not to allow uncontrolled access to the area, in particular a fence has been realized along the most sensitive areas, following the perimeter boundaries of the LIPU Nature Reserve. That was just one measure in a more general Action Plan aimed to the conservation of wetland areas, during which genetical analysis were made and whitout the intervention there was the risk to lose the natural heritage of endemic species characterizing this Natura 2000 site. The improvement of the biodiversity preservation of the site are confirmed by water analysis and by observations made in cooperation with ISPRA and SHI confirming the presence of the endemic species. Beneficiaries of the practice were universities, associations, ISPRA
The intervention has been financed by the Regional Operating Plan (ROP) 2000-2006 and the single measure requested 9.000,00 Euro, while the Action Plan for the Biodiversity preservation carried out by the LIPU Nature Reserve had an amount of 16.000,00 Euro (all financed by the ROP)
Evidence of success
There was an active cooperation with Casacalenda Municipality that had regular meetings with the nature reserve and with technical experts assigned to the action. There was an increase of University students coming for watch the benefit of this intervention for the wildlife and of researchers from different italian Universities that have conducted studies on the biology of some endemic amphibians. The intervention it made possible a new study able to confirm the presence of 9 amphibian species
The main challange was to convince local farmers in the use of an alternative path for bringing the livestock to an existing local old fountain, recovering also an ancient use of it
Potential for learning or transfer
That practice could concern other Nature Reserves that have the interest to preserve little habitats from zootechnical pressures and at the same time to secure areas that could be used by different kinds of users, such as hikers and occasional tourists. The practice could be also interesting as conservation aim able to avoid the influence of contaminating factors on scientific researches normally carried out in Nature Reserves. The practice could be also interesting for protected areas that could ensure through a basic intervention the ground of cooperation with scientific organizations (such as SHI - Italian Herpetological Society), that aknowledged the LIPU Nature Reserve as a "Relevant Herpetological Area" (ARE).
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