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CONTEXT

Pantani della Sicilia Sud Orientale are a complex system of coastal wetlands located at the South Eastern end of Sicily, Italy, which hosts the only Italian breeding population of Marbled duck. Despite the site still has a few features which make it suitable for this species, the following threats have been negatively affecting since years the conservation status of the species in the area eventually hampering concrete chances of growth and expansion:

  • Habitat loss: project area has been deeply modified by human activities since the 1950s as a consequence of a wetland drainage program combined with the building of a fish farming plant . The reduction of water surfaces and their transformation have strongly limited the attractiveness of the area as a breeding place for target species since these transformations actually reduce suitable niches to be used as a breeding place, though potential of the area towards bird species still remains enormous because of its peculiar characteristics and geographical position.
  • Human activities such as intensive farming, hunting, poaching, illegal fishing, combined with a general lack of ecological feeling and in the absence of proper indications and directions on most suitable behaviours, have had a deep negative impact on the ideal conditions for target species to fully exploit the area potential both for breeding and wintering

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