The proposal insists on one of the more relevant breeding area for the Lesser Kestrel in EU, namely the Murge Appulo-Lucane between Apulia and Basilicata Regions in Southern-east Italy.
Here a population of about 11.000 (4.000-4.200 breeding pairs) Lesser Kestrel was surveyed in 2010 by a census conducted by the local LIPU (Italian League for the Birds Protection) sections and the Alta Murgia National Park.
Within this wider area, partly included in the Alta Murgia National Park and partly outside of it but within the SPA of the Alta Murgia, the proposal focuses on the territories of the Municipalities of Gravina in Puglia and Altamura where the bigger colonies of Lesser Kestrel live each year in their breeding period between March and September, when they finally fly away to winter in the Sub-Saharan and South Africa, stopping-over in North African Countries.
As specific objective, the project aims at strengthening the presence of the Lesser Kestrel in the project area contributing to enhance the demographic trend of this priority species also in the wider area of the Murge Appulo-Lucane and in the neighbouring regions of the Adriatic side and of the Western Balkans, as a whole.
This main objective will be achieved pursuing the below listed results
1. Increase the presence of breeding sites for the Lesser Kestrel in the project area through structural interventions to be carried out on public and private buildings in the historical centres of the two partner municipalities of Gravina in Puglia and Altamura, where this priority species traditionally nests.
2. Intervention of recovery, rescue, cure and release of Lesser Kestrel wounded, trapped or fallen from their nest in the project area.
3. Strengthening the protection regime to which the roosting sites are subject in the project area through material and immaterial interventions. These sites are 6 in Altamura and 3 in Gravina in Puglia in the pre-breeding period and 9 and 6 in the post-breeding period respectively, counting for about 15-20 trees and 20-22, respectively.
4. Local farmers sensitized on land best management practices related to the conservation of the priority species;
5. Awareness raising action towards the citizenship of the two interested municipalities aimed at overcoming prejudices resulting in deliberate nests’ destruction for sanitary reasons, noise disturbance or simply ignorance.
6. Constitution of a National and International scientific panel aimed at setting up Guidelines for Drafting a National Action Plan and at sharing knowledge and successfully working methodologies to be adapted and transferred to other relevant breeding and residential areas in Europe (especially Balkan Countries and Turkey) and in other African Third Countries.