Action C.1 | Restoring old and creating new sites for nesting/breeding of the Falco Naumanni within public historical buildings in the municipalities of Gravina in Puglia and Altamura

For overcoming the problem of the loss of breeding sites for the Falco Naumanni a certain number of interventions will be carried out within the historical centres of the town of Gravina in Puglia and Altamura in order to provide the migrating population of this priority species with a sufficient number of new breeding sites a) making the old sites available again or b) providing them with new ones. This action aims 1) at halting the process of loss of breeding sites due to refurbishment and “sterilisation” of buildings’ roofs and walls which do not take into account the need of maintaining a sufficient number of nesting and breeding sites for the Falco Naumanni, 2) at increasing the number of breeding sites in the historical centres of the partner cities, allowing the colonies to increase the number of specimens positively settled in the area. This action also recalls and is implemented in compliance with the Apulia regional law n. 24/2005 establishing technical rules for restructuring the buildings taking into account the nesting and breeding needs of this European “vulnerable” raptor. The action will be developed as follows:
– Screening of the public buildings to be interested by the action;
– Screening of the buildings to be interested by the action;
– According to the type of building individuated and of its features, the intervention could consist of
a) placement of artificial nests on the roofs or under the roofs’ tiles,
b) opening of holes and nesting niches in the walls suitable for hosting the nest of the Falco Naumanni.

For some buildings will be necessary carrying out specific inspections aimed at establishing the intervention needed, according to the building’s features.

Concerning the above mentioned screenings, the public buildings will be primarily targeted. The “Falco Naumanni-friend” management of public buildings will play an educational role towards the general population constituting a shining sample of sustainable approach to the conservation of priority species in the project area. Moreover for its feature to live close to the urban and human environment and integrated in it, this species present particularly favourable conditions for addressing issues related to the conservation of nature towards the general public.

The following public buildings have been already jointly identified by the interested municipalities’ civil servants and LIPU ornithologists for this action:

Municipality of Gravina in Puglia
– Fondazione Santomasi Palace
– City Palace
– Sant’Agostino’s Cloister
– Primary and secondary schools (Benedetto XIII, Via Gorizia, Scacchi, San Giovanni Bosco, Santomasi)
– Churces (Purgatorio, San Domenico, San Sebastiano)
– Architectural Complex of Santa Sofia

Municipality of Altamura
– City Palace plus Offices located in Piazza Resistenza
– Baldassarre Palace
– Etnographic Museum (Monastery of Santa Teresa)
– Churces (Cathedral, Church and Monastery of Santa Chiara, San Domenico, Sant’Agostino, San Nicola, Santa Teresa)
– Monastery of the Soccorso (restructured part)
– Schools (Primary school “Garibaldi” and IV Novembre)
– Liceo Classico “Cagnazzi”. The Province of Bari – project co-financer – is competent on this huge architectural complex. Some years ago here were implemented some conservation’s interventions. A new, improving intervention would need to be deeply studied and discussed.

On the whole, it was esteemed that it will possible to install or create about 135 between artificial nests and nesting niches for partner municipality (for a total amount of about 270 as a whole). The choice between artificial nest or nesting niche will be operated after having carefully evaluated the different structure of the target buildings. At this second purpose, it will be carried out a preliminary, exploring action.

This intervention will be budgeted calculating the working days of at least two specialised workers and the renting of mobile scaffolding, but will be assigned on direct treaty basis.

For being considered adapt for the Falco Naumanni breeding and nesting these holes have to be featured as follows: 20-30cm length X 30-40 cm width X 15-30cm height (“Manual de gestión de hábitats del Cernícalo Primilla”, p. 60). This particular intervention will be allowed by the considerable width of the old buildings’ walls in the Southern Italy historical town centres. Another important feature to be considered in the opening of this holes is the entrance of the nest. An entrance of about 6-6,2 cm allows the raptor to enter inside living outside pigeons, sensibly bigger than the Falco Naumanni, and other not targeted and not priority species (ibidem). The specific design of the nests (niches or artificial ones) is aimed at keeping away from the breeding sites competitors species like the pigeons or predators which kill the chicks increasing their mortality. The specific intervention aimed at avoiding the entrance of predators in the nesting sites is considered by the EU action plan a medium priority for the species protection.

The installation and maintenance of artificial nests and the implementation/maintenance of nesting niches will be entirely carried out each project year at the end of the breeding period (between end of September and the end of February each year) when the Falco Naumanni migrate in sub-Saharan and South Africa for wintering. New breeding and nesting sites will be available starting from the successive breeding period. Following the installation of the artificial nests and the realisation of the niches, the monitoring activities will be carried out each year by the local LIPU section activists.

The utilisation of artificial wooden nests would considerably reduce the costs of this action (60 euro each), but considering the action’s sustainability and the recommendations contained in the “Manual de gestión de hábitats del Cernícalo Primilla” (LIFE05 NAT/F/000134), where wooden nest boxes only are recommended under cover (e.g. under the roof inside the building), the following long lasting and weather resistant materials such as wood cement, brick works & ceramic plastered with mortar, will be preferred. In any case the more suitable intervention will be evaluated on a case by case basis.


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