A Falcon as a Friend

Falco Naumanni is a small migratory falcon whose population decreased considerably during the late 20th century. Some of the previously declining populations are now recovering thanks to the implementation of targeted conservation measures, to the point that the breeding population now appears to be stable, and even growing, particularly in Southwestern Europe. Today, the breeding population is estimated at 30,500-38,000 pairs throughout Europe. In Italy, the species breeding population was estimated at 1,300-1,500 pairs in the 1990s.  It has since risen to about 6,600-9,200 breeding pairs. Its breeding range has also expanded from historical breeding regions in Basilicata, Apulia, Sardinia, and Sicily to new breeding areas in Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Molise and Calabria. However, despite the Lesser Kestrel’s recovery, the species deserves further attention and continued conservation measures, especially in light of its distinctly synanthropic tendencies as regards its choice of feeding area (pastures and arable land) and, above all, its reproduction areas (buildings in urban areas). The project is designed to increase the Lesser Kestrel’s presence in the project areas, and so help to further improve the population trends of this species (whose conservation is considered a priority within the EU) in the broader Murge plateau area of central Apulia, and in the neighbouring regions of the Adriatic and the western Balkans.

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