Updates till 31/12/2019 on the progress with a brief description of the activities carried out.


Action A.1 Administrative procedures for the project start – CONCLUDED

On 20/10/2016 a convention has been signed with CARIPLO Foundation, which participates at the project as co-financer.

On 09/11/2016 with GRAIA and on 17/11/2016 with FLA the Ticino Park formalized the partnership agreements.

Define of the internal administrative procedures of the project.


Action A.2 Territorial analysis, consultation and agreements with local farmers – CONCLUDED

From November 2016 to May 2017 numerous farmers were involved, through public and/or individual meetings or site visits on farms/land potentially affected by Action C4. The meetings were held in collaboration with FLA, involving the farm’s owner or conducting the wet meadows (“marcite”) and therefore potential future “campari”.

From August to September 2017 were conducted 25-30 individual meetings with farms potentially interested in the Call for identifying “Campari” for “marcite” management and between October and December 2017 with the winners of the call for planning the recovery interventions of the marcite.

The first plenary meeting was held on 4th of July 2017 in Vigevano (Pavia), at “La Sforzesca Centre”,  17 farmers attended the meeting.

The 5th of July 2017 the second plenary meeting was held in Magenta (Milano), at La Faggiana Center,  n. 10 farmers attended the meeting. In annex PR2: invitation letters, invited list, attendance sheets.

The Call ” Identification campari for managing marcite” has been approved and n. 20 applications were received.  Thirteen agreements were signed with farmers.

The action took place regularly and ended as scheduled by the 31st of December 2017, individual meetings with the farms of the Park were held later during the phases of applications for the Call “Bando Sommersione Invernale Marcite con campari” 2018 and 2019.

All of these meetings were essential for: the dissemination of the project results; the success of the Calls’s activities; the assistance for wet meadows restoration; the experimentation of the autumn submersion of the wet meadows.


Action A.3 Proposal for establishing a new SAC for the protection of “Adriatic Sturgeon spawning sites” – IN PROGRESS

The action started regularly in January 2017.

During the period June 2017 – September 2018 activities were implemented accordingly the three phases foreseen.

The documentation produced was submitted to the Nature and Biodiversity Structure of Regione Lombardia for a first check. As requested by Regione Lombardia in date 25.09.2018 the documentation has been sent to all the territorially competent Authority.

The action is delayed due to the long time required for the acquisition of opinions by local Authorities.

After receiving a signal about the presence of four adult sturgeons in the area, nocturnal research campaigns were launched with the naturalist diver, also in collaboration with the working group engaged in monitoring campaigns in the same site. Eight scuba diving campaigns were made in the areas known as the spawning site of Adriatic sturgeon.

Unfortunately the presence of sturgeons was not detected in any campaign, due to the really reduced visibility in the water. After July campaign heavy rain made the river impossible to be monitored and the research for the 2019 reproductive season were interrupted. In the 2020 breeding season  the study of the reproductive behaviour of Adriatic sturgeon will be resumed, since the anglers confirmed this site as the breeding site of the unique sturgeon population in the basin.


Action A.4 Planning of the creation and restoration of wetlands, wet forests and other aquatic habitats – CONCLUDED

Seven executive projects were carried out divided into three macro-projects: the largest includes all interventions of the actions C2, C3, C6 and most of the interventions foreseen by the C1 action; another project concerns only forest operations of the C1 action (restoration through forestry  interventions and creation of habitat 91E0 in Motta Visconti; another project concerns restoration and creation of forest habitats of conservation interest at Bernate Ticino (Action C5).

GRAIA has drafted and delivered to the Ticino Park the definitive project relating to the following interventions:

•          Action C.1: creation and restoration of wetlands and other aquatic habitats at “I Geraci”, in favour of birds and butterflies of conservation interest in Motta Visconti town, inside the  SCI IT2080002 “Basso corso e sponde del Ticino” and SPA IT2080301”Boschi del Ticino”.

•          Action C.2: ecological restoration of the settling basins of Arno Stream, as a source area for birds of conservation interest in Lonate Pozzolo town.

•          Action C.3: enhancement of source areas for endemic fish species along springs, streams and secondary branches of Ticino River partially inside the SCI IT2050005 “Boschi della Fagiana”, SCI IT2080002 “Basso corso e sponde del Ticino” and SCI IT2010014 “Turbigaccio, Boschi di Castelletto e Lanca di Bernate”.

•          Action C.6: restoration of wetlands at Bernate Ticino, inside SCI IT2010014 “Turbigaccio, Boschi di Castelletto e Lanca di Bernate” and SPA IT2080301”Boschi del Ticino”.

Action A.5 Consultations for the creation of a task force to protect Acipenser naccarii spawning site – CONCLUDED

Various meetings were organized to present the project at the local fishing associations, thanks also to the active collaboration of FIPSAS Pavia, which was immediately involved and assured the full cooperation of his association. About dozen people (12 – 21 people on various evening) confirmed their interest in being involved, participating in the same evening (January and March) at the training lessons (sub-action E 2.1) held immediately after the first hour of presentation and debate. The project has been adequately disseminated among local fishermen, that after were involved in to the creation of the task force. In 2017 it was formalized the task force and the official closure of the Action.


Action C.1 Creation and restoration of wetlands and other aquatic habitats at “I Geraci”, in favour of birds and butterflies of conservation interest – IN PROGRESS

For the realization of action C1 interventions, inside the  SCA IT2080002 “Basso corso e sponde del Ticino” and SPA IT2080301”Boschi del Ticino” in the Municipality of Motta Visconti (MI) – Geraci, were carried out two tenders.

In 2018 period the following interventions were realized:

the creation 3 hectares of wetland forests,91E0* “Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior”;

the forest improvement on about 12 hectares was implemented through the following interventions: removal of alien species (in particular red oak and conch pine) in  habitat 91F0 ” Riparian mixed forests of Quercus robur, Ulmus laevis and Ulmus minor, Fraxinus excelsior or Fraxinus angustifolia” for about 10.5 ha and retraining of the Robinia woods for about 1.5 hectares with the aim of the extending the 91F0 habitat in the future.

In the summer of 2018 a small part of the reforestation was affected by an exceptional meteoric event which caused two landslides (100m2), after it was made localized recovery.

About the 2nd tender the following interventions were realized:

  • the creation 11,700 m2  of wet meadows in favour of target birds and Lycaena dispar;
  • the realization  of 7,400 m2 of reed beds in favour of target birds;
  • the creation 6,500 m2 of wetlands, habitat 3150 “Natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion or Hydrocharition-type vegetation” in favour of birds of community interest;
  • the creation 8,600 m2 “lanche” in favour of target birds;
  • the creation  120 m for kingfisher habitat’s (Acedo attis)
  • the creation 2 ha of habitat 6210. In progress the seeding for the creation of habitat.

Furthermore, unforeseen interventions were carried out in order to reconstruct lateral river environments on an area of 8 ha.


Action C.2 Ecological restoration of the settling basins of Arno Stream, as a source area for birds of conservation interest – CONCLUDED

The interventions were realized in settling basins of Arno Stream in the Municipality of Lonate Pozzolo:

Hedges of bushes (about 900) along the borders of the basins, in favour of foraging Passerines during autumn migration.

Installation of 824 rectangular modules of floating rafts and 16 triangular modules. The works were implemented in three different periods in order to not disturb the nesting birds.


Action C.3 Enhancement of source areas for endemic fish species along springs, streams and secondary branches of Ticino River – CONCLUDED

The interventions regards 3 Natura 2000 sites: SCI IT2050005; SCI IT2080002;  SCI IT2010014, all the areas are close to the Ticino riverbed.

The interventions in locality Maresco of Villa Reale at Cassolnovo (PV) included: restoration of a spring and its related stream (about 0.5), with requalification of the riparian woodland till the confluence with Roggia Bredna; the intervention was been concern the creation of new pools (about 1,000 m2).

The interventions in locality of Ramo Morto, at Turbigo (MI) included:  the realization of local interventions along this branch of Ticino river (about 2km), moving the anoxic sediments and diversifying the riparian habitats through in channel deflectors that have liven up the flowing of water and revitalized the aquatic ecosystem.

The interventions in locality of Ramo Delizia at Magenta (MI) were  the same  realized at Ramo Morto and involved about 2 km of stream.

The interventions in locality of Canale Gravellone Vecchio at Travaco Siccomario (PV) included: the differentiation of riparian habitats and defragmentation of the water course (about 2 km), permitting to fishes to move freely along the medium-final sectors of the channel.


Action C.4 Management of lowland wet meadows in favour of birds and butterflies of conservation interest – IN PROGRESS

Action A3, Action E2 sub-Action E2.5 were preparatory for the completion of this Action.

Sub-Action C4.1 – Call for an external agronomist

Agronomist which implemented the C4.1 sub-Action has regularly performed the tasks according to the Requirements. He organized the sub-Actions C.4.2., C.4.3. and E.2.5.

Sub-Action C4.2 – Call for identifying “campari” for managing “marcite” 2018-19 and sub-Action C4.3 – Call for farmers for autumn flooding (September-October) of meadows for creating a foraging habitat for migratory birds

During the 2018-2019, three calls were published

  • Call for the recovery and submersion of lowland wet meadows in winter
  • Call for the recovery and submersion of lowland wet meadows flooded in autumn (2018)
  • Call for the recovery and submersion of lowland wet meadows flooded in autumn (2019)

The submersion season of marcite will start in the end of November2019, It is the last agricultural year of marcite management foreseen by the LIFE project. While for wet meadows and their autumn submersion, the action will end in autumn 2020 (the third and final year of intervention).

Action C.5 Restoration and creation of forest habitats of conservation interest at Bernate Ticino – IN PROGRESS

Most of the works have been realized.

The following interventions was realized:

  • Reforestation of open areas (ca 16 ha) of the existing gardens, with hydrophilic species or mesophilic ones in favour of habitat 91E0*;
  • Cutting of non-native and  ornamental species, with eradication and reforestation with native species,  sivicultural thinning where necessary in favour of habitat 91F0.

The last interventions will be completed within spring 2020: removal  some debris and some specific forest improvements.


Action C.6 Restoration of wetlands at Bernate Ticino – IN PROGRESS

The interventions of restoration of area were realized in Locality Bernate Ticini inside SAC IT2010014 Turbigaccio, Boschi di Castelletto e Lanca di Bernate and SPA IT2080301”Boschi del Ticino”. Here there are two ponds  of artificial origin which were restored by creating the habitat 3150, suitable also for migratory target birds.

The following interventions were realized:

  • Reshaping of the pond banks; reshaped banks were planted with double rows of shrubs (Crataegus monogyna, Prunus spinosa, Rosa canina); in the area north of the pond a sub-flat area has been built at the levels close to the average water levels of the basin in order to be able to maintain an area of about 700-800 square meters of wet meadow;
  • Laying of a double hedgerow in the southern portion of the pond
  • Creation of a ditch connecting ponds
  • Planting of riparian forest (native trees and shrubs mixed mesophilic) at south of intervention area’s.
  • The last interventions will be completed within spring 2020.


Action C.7 Active defense of A. naccarii spawing sites – IN PROGRESS

The main purpose of this action is the protection of the only known European spawning site of Acipenser naccarii. The most important threats are poaching and the presence of Silurus glanis and other invasive species.

To tackle these threats, two key strategies have been implemented: active surveillance of the area by a group of volunteers and wels catfish containment.

In the period June 2017-August 2019 were carry out 175 patrols, which are almost the doubled in comparison to the 90 patrols envisaged by the project. All the patrols have been recorded, noting observations and any criticalities detected.

The results of the patrols also offer updated information on the state of the environment and the presence of other animals.

In the same period the campaigns of containment of S. glanis were carried out still by the volunteers and GRAIA. A total of 39 electrofishing campaign were performed, which involved not only the area concerned but also some lateral areas directly connected by it and a section of river.

The action will continue regularly in the future, depending on the hydrological conditions of the river.


Action C.8 Reintroduction of Huso huso in Ticino River – IN PROGRESS

The activities aim’s is the Huso huso sturgeon reintroduction into the Ticino and the Po river basin. The action led to the purchase by the Ticino Park of more than 1900 juvenile sturgeons, to which should be added 60 sub-adults already owned by Ticino Park. These sturgeons are housed in the Cassolnovo semi-natural tanks, where they will remain for the pre-adaptation period before being released into the river. During this period they are also been genetically tested, their growth and health checked and finally marked before they are released in the river.

In the second year the action has been implemented on many fronts:

  • breeding of the stock of 60 specimens of 6+ years of age, already housed in the semi-natural farming canals at Cassolnovo.
  • acquisition and breeding of:
  • 40 specimens (age 1+) purchased on march 2018;
  • 80 specimens (age 2+) purchased on May 2018;
  • 1700 specimens 0+ on 2019 (50 from an Italian breeder and  1200 from an Hungarian breeder);
  • Rearing of 10,000 fertilized eggs next to hatching, brought to the Fagiana hatchery, from which 45 specimens were weaned. Trials of weaning of a new stock of 100 juveniles (age 0+), purchased by Ticino Park by own  funds;
  • genetic studies on the purchased stocks of animals are still carried out by the Theoretical Science Department of Università degli Studi dell’Insubria. in phylogeographic terms there are no contraindications to use the specimens acquired and bred for reintroduction. In any case it is expected to proceed with further investigations in the near future, going to expand the investigation to museum exhibits of H. huso from the Po basin.


Action D.1 Monitoring the efficacy of Action C1 (faunistic aspects) and C6 – IN PROGRESS

Monitoring concerns the species of fauna (avifauna and Lycaena dispar) present in the intervention area of Action C1 and C6  is regularly in progress in both intervention sites.


The monitoring of breeding, migratory and winter birds has been carried out using a linear transept for the forest environment; mapping individuals in the open and aquatic environment; listening point in twilight times, and by reproduction, for Caprimulgus europaeus and Burhinus oedicnemus.

In the area “I Geraci”, municipality of Motta Visconti, all 7 target species of Community interest for the area and for Action C.1. were recorded after the interventions (March 2019 – August 2019); 2 target species have been recorded in these areas prior to the interventions of Action C.1. (January 2017 – February 2019). In the “La Piarda” area, in the municipality of Bernate Ticino, 10 species of waterbirds have been recorded in the intervention area of Action C.6. (March 2019 – August 2019); 3 species of waterbirds have been recorded in these areas before the interventions (January 2017 – February 2019).

Lycaena dispar

The monitoring of Lycaena dispar was carried out in 5 areas within the Geraci site, with a total of 16 field excursion from March to October 2019. In the same areas other 32 species of butterflies belonging to the following families have been recorded: Hesperidae (4 species), Papilionidae (1 species), Pieridae (6 species), Lycaenidae (8 species + Lycaena dispar) and Nymphalidae (13 species).

In Bernate Ticino (“La Piarda” area), the monitoring of the Lycaena dispatch was carried out in 3 sites, for a total of 16 field excursions from March to October 2019.

In the same areas other 32 species of butterflies belonging to the following families have been recorded: Hesperidae (4 species), Papilionidae (2 species), Pieridae (6 species), Lycaenidae (6 species + Lycaena dispar) and Nymphalidae (14 species).


Action D.2 Monitoring the efficacy of action C2 – IN PROGRESS

The activity started on the 1st of January 2017 and it is regularly in progress. During the reference period 2/01/2017 – 08/31/2018 the monitoring was carried out ex ante (until February 2019) and ex post (from March to August 2019).

In the “Vasche del Torrente Arno” area (Lonate Pozzolo) 6 target species of Community interest for action D.2. were registered “ex post” in 2019 in the areas of intervention of action C.2. (Mar 2019 – August 2019); no target species of Community interest for action D.2 was registered “ex ante”. Breeding species in 2019 on new rafts include: Aythya nyroca, Himantopus himantopus, Aythya ferina, Aythya fuligula, Fulica atra atra, Anas strepera.


Action D.3 Monitoring the efficacy of action C3 – IN PROGRESS

As part of this action, the first ante-operam and post-operam monitoring campaigns for amphibians and fish were conducted.

The amphibian monitoring campaign also focused on the three target species Hyla intermedia, Rana dalmatina and Rana latastei; for this reason it was performed in two different moments, at the beginning of spring (reproduction period of Rana dalmatina and Rana latastei) and in the middle of spring (when the reproduction of Hyla intermedia takes place).

In the ante-operam campaign, monitoring allowed us to detect the presence of 3 masses of eggs of Rana latastei in Maresco di Villa Reale, species Pelophylax synklepton esculentus and Bufo bufo were also found.

In the post-operam campaign, the only intervention site where amphibians were found is Maresco di Villa Reale, where an active reproduction of Rana latastei was monitored: 3 adult, 1 young and 16 egg masses were sampled. A large population of Hyla intermedia was also found here in mid-spring, with over 80 specimens of all sizes and 3 egg masses.

Fish monitoring also focused on three target species: Cottus gobio, Lampetra zanandreai, Sabanejewia larvata.

With the ante-operam campaign, in the Canale Gravellone Vecchio the presence of only one species, mostly invasive exotic, was detected: Misgurnus anguillicaudatus, present with only one specimen. In Ramo Delizia, 17 fish species were found for a total of 347 fish: one target species was present (Cottus gobio), with 12 individuals. In Ramo Morto, 9 fish species have been found for a total of 413 specimens, including the target species Cottus gobio, 7 other native species and 1 exotic species.

In the post-operam campaign, the Cavo Canalino, which has been the subject of ecological restoration as part of the C1 action in Geraci, has also been analysed: 11 species have been found here, but no target species wes found. In Roggia Bredna, at Maresco di Villa Reale, 3 native species have been found, no project targets. In Ramo Delizia, all three target species (Cottus gobio, Lampetra zanandreai, Sabanejewia larvata) as well as other 16 fish species were found. The presence of the target species Cottus gobio, with 15 other species, has been detected in Ramo Morto.


Action D.4 Monitoring the efficacy of action C4 – IN PROGRESS


During the reference period 01/06/2017 – 31/08/2019, breeding birds, migratory and winter birds were monitored.

In wet lowland meadows that had been flooded in winter or autumn, n.12 target species (4 of Community interest) were registered “ex post” in 2019 in the intervention areas (March 2019 – August 2019) and n.8 target species (2 of Community interest) were registered “ex ante” in these areas before the interventions (January 2017 – February 2019).


Lycaena dispar

The monitoring of Lycaena dispar was carried out in 6 areas.

In wet lowland meadows that were flooded in winter or autumn, the target species of action D.4. were recorded “ex post” in 2019 in all areas of intervention.

In the same areas 41 species of butterflies belonging to the following families have been recorded: Hesperidae (6 species), Papilionidae (2 species), Pieridae (7 species), Lycaenidae (9 species) and Nymphalidae (17 species).


Action D.5 Monitoring the efficacy of action C1 (vegetational and floristic aspects) and C5 – IN PROGRESS

Monitoring was carried out at the sites of Motta Visconti and Bernate Ticino, where actions C1 and C5 were carried out. The purpose of this monitoring is to verify the success of the creation and/or improvement of habitats of Community interest, 91F0 and 91E0 *.

To date, the action is in its 3rd year of monitoring, which corresponds to the second year of post-operation monitoring in the Geraci area (Action C1) and to the 1st year of post-operation monitoring in the Bernate Ticino area.

The monitoring methods include floristic surveys along transects, and floristic-vegetational surveys and plots vegetation analysis. Monitoring was carried out respectively twice (late spring, late summer) and once a year (late spring, early summer).

The indicators used are the complexity and organization of the territorial mosaic (current habitats and geospatial attributes), floristic and vegetative heritage (indicator species and type of vegetation) and forest heritage (structure).


Action D.6 Monitoring the efficacy of action C7 – IN PROGRESS

The activities intend to monitor the effects of action C.7, in particular with regards to the containment of torpedoes. Furthermore, the monitoring activities aim to disclose new information on the presence of A. naccarii in the reproduction area.

The activities which have been implemented are:

  1. monitoring campaigns by day electrofishing;
  2. night monitoring campaigns carried out by boat. This monitoring involves the observation carried out along the banks of the river at low speed (about 2-3 km/hour), illuminating the water surface with the lighthouse.

Monitoring led to the census of 18 native and 15 exotic species. Among these, the most abundant are the exotic barbel (indicated with Barbus sp), Abramis brama and rodeus. During a night monitoring carried out on 12 July 2019, an adult A. naccarii was identified upstream of the Ticino deposition bed area.


Action D.7 Monitoring the efficacy of action C8 – IN PROGRESS

This action establishes the monitoring of the activities connected to the C8 action, which aims at bringing the sturgeon Huso huso back into the Ticino river and then into the Po river.

One of the monitoring activities was carried out at the breeding centres of the Ticino Park and continued to assess the welfare status of the sturgeons raised in the farm.

The other monitoring activity was carried out through the release of sub-dult sturgeons marked with ultrasonic transmitters, and young sturgeons marked with PIT-tags. The first biotelemetry activities were also carried out to control the movements of sturgeons marked with the transmitter. In total, 30 fish with transmitter were marked and 19 were released. A total of 12 sturgeons tagged with a transmitter were intercepted in the Ticino and in the Po rivers during the biotelemetry activities. On the other hand, 431 young individuals were marked with microchips and 289 released in the river.


Action D.8 Evaluation of the socio-economic impact of conservation actions – IN PROGRESS

The purpose of this action is to evaluate the social and economic impact generated by the actions of the project on local communities.

In this first phase of action D.8, the focus is on the following specific objectives:

  1. Identification of the objectives and areas of action of the impact assessment;
  2. Identification of the most appropriate survey tools for evaluation;
  3. Identification of a framework of the territorial, socio-economic context in which the project is inserted;
  4. Testing of the survey tools (questions) and adjustment of the operational strategy for analysis accordingly.

For this reason, we have determined the potentially involved target groups, the relevant impacts, the number of people potentially involved, the extent of the available information.

This initial information helped to define the approach to be used for the assessment and it  will be crucial to identify the nature of the socio-economic impacts of any proposed change.

In this phase, an initial analysis of the socio-economic situation of the territory was carried out and a series of stakeholder groups potentially involved in the project was defined, increasing the level of knowledge and attention to the problems of the project. A questionnaire, drawn up in different versions according to the stakeholder category, was prepared and distributed to a first sample of people, both to test it and to initially investigate the perception and effective knowledge of the LIFE project topics.


Action D.9 Evaluation of the actions impact on ecosystem services – THE ACTION HASN’T STARTED YET


Action E.1 Dissemination and awareness raising activities – IN PROGRESS

Sub Action E1.1

Notice boards

During the first two months of the project, 5 notice boards have been printed and installed in the headquarters of Ticino Park in Pontevecchio, in the Park centres of “La Fagiana”, “Geraci” and “Dogana” as well as in the Bernate Ticino site.

Project Logo

In January 2017 a project logo has been developed.

Web site

As of June 2017, the official project website is available at the following link: www.lifeticinobiosource.it. To date the website allows for an easy interaction and consultation of updated information, as its pages follow the evolution of the project activities. In total, from December 2017 (publishing date) to August 2019, n. 4,220  new users have visited the website with 7,328 sessions. New visitors account for the majority of the public (86,4%) while the remaining percentage is represented by returning visitors (13,6%). Each user has n.1,87 sessions, with an average duration of 00:02:42 minutes per session; the pages have been viewed n. 23,564 times. Visitors come mostly from Italy (74,07%), followed by the United States (8,84 %), Canada (4,17%), France (1,75%) and Germany (1,56%).

An originally unforeseen page of the website – available at: http://ticinobiosource.it/butterfly-watching/rilevamento/ – has been created for the interactive collection of data in order to develop a Butterfly Atlas while at the same time promoting citizen science.


A first video clip has already been produced, and an English version (with subtitles) will soon be released.

Press conferences

Three press conferences have already been held in conjunction with particular project events.

On 01 November 2016, the first press conference was held to communicate the start of the project.

On 28/03/2019 the second conference took place to accompany the release of individuals of Huso huso in the Ticino river. The individuals were marked with an ultrasound transmitter implanted in the abdominal cavity, so as to follow their movements by means of a hydrophone.

At the third conference, on 21 October 2019, it has been announced the return to repopulation of the Adriatic Sea by the sturgeon released in the Ticino River with LIFE project. Press review accounts for ca 50 articles from November 2016 to October 2019 (http://ticinobiosource.it/area-download/dicono-di-noi/).


Every 3 month a newsletter issue is drawn up to report on the Project progress. Up to date, n. 6 newsletters have been published, with an additional English version starting with the 6th edition.


Sub Action E.1.2.

The aim of the sub-action is to improve the accessibility of the sites and to increase their fruition thereby enhancing the visitors’ understanding of the importance of biodiversity.


Sub Action E1.3

Butterfly course

The implementation of the Butterfly-watching Course and of the Butterfly Distribution Atlas has been assigned. Although the project originally included the carrying out of only one course, three courses were held: one in the Province of Milan, one in the Province of Pavia Province and one in the Province of Varese. In 2017, about 40 people attended the first course. Every year the course started with an opening workshop.

The second training course, 2018 edition,  on the observation and identification of butterflies, registered an increased participation (52 sign ups) and a satisfying average number of attendances.

The third training course, 2019 edition, recorded n. 40 participants.

The course was developed in 12 lessons and 2 excursion field/workshops. The activation of a significant number of adequately trained voluntary observers represents an important achievement.

After 3 years 40 volunteers made nr 7,000 useful reports for the editing of the Atlas.

In order to enhance the participation of a wider public, a webpage for citizen science was created, allowing people to fill the online data entry form with information on the butterflies of the Park. Additionally, a photographic competition was set up to collect information about forgotten park environments (villages) and to stimulate the participation of a wider public.

Educational activities

The activities of environmental education were carried out in the school year 2018/2019.  The results exceeded the expectations of the project: 40 schools were involved, with a total of 232 classes and more than 5400 students. Each educator carried out an educational plan specifically designed for each class, following the guidelines of teachers. The activity will be inserted in PTOF plan (training offer plan) drawn up by each school at the beginning of the year.

The educational booklet, a tool in support of educational activities, had already been designed, carried out and distributed in the schools. Due to the elevated number of schools and students involved the booklet has been printed again.

Action E.2 Know-how and information transfer and exachange – IN PROGRESS

Sub-action E.2.1 Training of the Operative Unit involved in action C7.

The training of volunteers, ready to be a part of the task force, has been performed according to the plan. After the first consultations in January, the course has immediately started. The course has also provided for practical lessons, such as the control of S. glanis, fish marking and environmental monitoring.

Sub-action E.2.2. Networking with other LIFE projects.

The networking activity carries on from 2017 to 2019 and is currently in progress.

The LIFE project foresees a contacts network between Ticino Park and FLA and GRAIA partners with other bodies managing similar projects in European Countries, in order to enhance a reciprocal exchange of information on the conservation and management of target species and habitats.

On 28/02 – 01/03/2017, in Cambridge (UK), one representative of the LIFE Project (Fabio Casale, FLA) participated to the symposium “Achieving Sustainable Species Recovery” that was organized by the RSPB – The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It was the final symposium of LIFE 11/UK/INF/418 “Securing the future of the Stone-curlew throughout its range in the UK”. A poster of LIFE “Ticino Biosource” was shown at the congress.

On 06 and 07/06/2017 three representatives of the LIFE project (Valentina Parco, Ticino Park; Beniamino Barenghi, GRAIA srl; Fabio Casale, FLA) made a technical visit to 3 Nature Reserves managed by RSPB – The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, located in the south east of  England: Lakenheath Fen, Ouse Fen and Minsmere. The aim of the visit was to learn techniques of management, restoration and maintenance of wetlands for biodiversity, which could be applied to LifeTicinoBiosource. The three reserves have been selected because they represent different approaches and different phases/moments in the management of wetlands.

On 26/01/2017, the project was presented at the symposium “Interventi di riqualificazione e valorizzazione del corridoio ecologico del fiume Ticino nell’ambito della Rete ecologica sovraregionale”, at the Park Centre “La Dogana”. The project has been also presented during a seminar organized by the Motta Visconti Municipality on 10/03/2017.

In October 16th to 19th 2017, Michele Bove and Cristina Poma of the Ticino Park participated to a knowledge and experience exchange with the responsible of the LIVEDRAVA project, on habitat and riparian birds of the Drava river.

From 12/06/2018 to 15/06/2018 Dr. Fulvio Caronni, responsible of the Woods and Vegetation Sector, went to Arnhem – NL to visit some natural managed reserves. The aim of the visit was to learn, thanks to the experts of RSPB, management techniques, such as the recovering and maintaining of wet zones and forestry environment to enhance biodiversity, to be used in the LIFE project (Action C.1. and C.6.).

Moreover, the LIFE project has been illustrated on 18 October 2018 by Fulvio Caronni in Milan at the “Role and Future for new woods and green system of plain and valley floor: an open debate between the Netherlands and Italy” meeting, while another presentation has been held during the IV Italian Conference on river requalification kept in Bologna in October 22nd to 26th, 2018.

A meeting with the project LIFE NetProNet has been held at the headquarters of Ticino Park, 11/07/2017. Representatives from LIPU (Massimo Soldarini, Elena Rossini, Giovanni Soldato), coordination beneficiary of the project and Adriano Bellani (Ticino Park) and Fabio Casale (FLA) attended the meeting. The main topic of the conference was the project NetProNet which foresaw the collection of bird data within the Ticino Park.

During the XIX Italian Conference on Ornithology in Turin from September 27 to October 01, 2017 a poster with the title “Birds of marcite in the Lombardy Park of Ticino Valley, 7 monitoring (2011-2017)” was displayed to show for the first time to the scientific community the results on the ornithological richness of agricultural environments, with the Ticino Park as one of the most important remaining surfaces of the Padana Plain.

FLA is collaborating in the creation of a web platform (Lapwingconservation.org) that, following the Action Plan, has the purpose of exchanging information between bodies involved in studying and conservation actions of Pavoncella.

During the XX Conference on Ornithology in Napoli on September 26th to 29th, 2019 the poster “Monitoring and conservation of Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) in the wastewater treatment area of Arno stream (Lombardy, Northern Italy)” was shown.

On 4 October 2019 the workshop “LIFE Projects for the Protection of Fish” was carried out at the “La Fagiana” Park Center. Many LIFE projects presented at the workshop showed actions for the conservation of fish fauna. The workshop was an opportunity for an interesting network activity that will be also reported on the newsletter issue n. 7.

Networking activities will continue in the future.

Sub-action E2.5. Training course for farmers

The course on the management of the “Marcita” for “Campari” was carried out from January 2018 to June 2018. It  has been preceded by an introductive seminar, on the January 17, with a registered presence of circa 50 people including farmers, agronomists, technicians of public bodies, interested citizens. Additionally, 3 field excursions have been carried out (from January 2018  to June 2019) in Abbiategrasso and Vigevano to learn about the management of “marcite” and about shovel skills, as well as innovative techniques to harvest and conserve fodder that must be ensiled (circa 90 attendees).

Action F.1 Technical and financial project management – IN PROGRESS

Action F.2 Monitoring of the project progress – IN PROGRESS

Action F.3 Indipendent project Audit – IN PROGRESS

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