Conservazione della principale popolazione europea di Berta maggiore mediterranea Calonectris diomedea e altri uccelli pelagici nelle Isole Pelagie


Mediterranean Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) is listed within the Annex I of the Birds Directive. It lives exclusively in the Mediterranean, and nests on the Linosa Island with a colony estimated about 10,000 pairs, representing more than 60% of the Italian population, more than 20% of the European population and about 15% of the entire population. The Cory’s shearwater is also nesting with a small population on Lampedusa, and with about 200 pairs at Lampione. (Baccetti N., Capizzi D., Corbi F., Massa B., Nissardi S., Spano G., Sposimo P., 2009. Breeding shearwaters on Italian islands: population size, island selection and co-existence with their main alien predator, the Black rat. Riv. ital. Orn., Milano, 78 (2): 83-100).

Yelkouan shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan), listed within the Annex I of the Birds Directive, is endemic to the central and eastern Mediterranean, nesting with a small population on Linosa and with a more numerous colony in Lampedusa. The numerical size of the global mediterranean population is currently very uncertain, but it could be much lower than 20,000 pairs, and its status, previously considered safe, might actually be very critical. (Bourgeois e Vidal 2008. The endemic Mediterranean yelkouan shearwater Puffinus yelkouan distribution, threats and a plea for more data. Oryx, 42: 187-194). Puffinus yelkouan is not listed within the Natura 2000 sites data forms of SCI ITA040001 and ITA040002, which are, however, a previous draft (completion date 06/1998 – last updated 12/2005). On the contrary, in the most recent Natura 2000 data form of SPA ITA040013 (completion date 04/2005 – last updated 01/2007) Puffinus yelkouan is listed as “other important species of fauna” in paragraph 3.3 of the above mentioned data form. SPA ITA 040013 data form unequivocally integrates and partly overtakes those of the SCI.

Mediterranean Storm petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus melitensis), listed within the Annex I of the Birds Directive, is a subspecies endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. A large colony (so far numerically unknown) has recently been found in Lampedusa in a cave inaccessible to rats and it seems absent on Linosa because there all suitable sites can be reached by rats.

The Natura 2000 sites on the Pelagie Islands (Lampedusa and Linosa – ITA040001, ITA040002, ITA040013) have their own Management Plan now approved by Regione Siciliana (see references DDG 590 of 25.06.2009 and D.D.G. n. 861 of 15.11.2010). The Plan of Action of the SCI/SPA on the Pelagie Islands (ITA040013, ITA040001, ITA040002) contains the indication of management actions aimed to protect seabirds. Further exploration in the islands of Linosa and Lampedusa have recently been carried out. Pelagic bird breeding on Lampedusa has been well ascertained and the bird population is estimated to be about 500 couples. (Ientile Massa R. & B., 2008. Birds (Aves.) In: AA . VV., Atlas of Biodiversity in Sicily: terrestrial vertebrates. Studies & Research Harp Sicily, Palermo 6,115-211)
Habitats that have already suffered significant impacts from the invasion of alien species are described as follows. The entire surface of these habitats will receive benefits from the eradication of invasive alien plant species, rapidly spreading in all environments where they vegetate.

Vegetated sea cliffs of the Mediterranean coasts with endemic Limonium spp.

Natura 2000 code: 1240. Ha in the SCI = 11.4
Habitat of high conservation interest, characterized by endemic species of the genus Limonium. It is located almost continuously along the rocky coasts of the SCI, placing itself in an intermediate position between 1170 habitat and 5320 habitat. Locally shows a medium-high quality and integrity, resulting mainly threatened by the tourist load and by the spread of alien cenosis dominated by Carpobrotus edulis.
Among the different species of Limonium that characterise the habitat there are Limonium algusae and Limonium lopadusanum. The latter species is endemic to the two major Pelagie islands. In species with “LR” status a few tens of individuals are highly threatened both by various forms of human disturbance (at lower risk of preservation) and by the presence of alien plant cenosis (pollution, expansion of invasive species such as Carpobrotus edulis, firerisk, etc.).

Low formations of Euphorbia close to cliffs

Natura 2000 Cod E5320. Ha in SCI= 16.3
The habitat is located close to aphytoic cliffs, especially along the north and north-west coastal stretch of the island, behind Limonium algusae formations. Low formations of Euphorbia are type of subnitrophil, litophilic and aeroaline garrigue related to the alliance Plantagini-Thymelaeion hirsutae. The habitat is threatened by the presence of alien species of flora such as Tamarix canariensis, Carpobrotus edulis and Acacia

Lava fields and natural excavations

Natura 2000 Code: 8320. He in the SCI= 25.9
Habitat originated from volcanic activity with pioneer vegetation formations. It is often characterised by either endemic or high conservation value species. The habitat is threatened by the presence of alien species of flora such as Tamarix canariensis, Carpobrotus edulis and Acacia

Pseudo-steppe with grasses and annuals of the Thero-Brachypodietea

Natura 2000 Code: 6220. Ha in the SCI = 22.1
Mediterranean steppe grassland is widely distributed on the islands of Linosa and Lampedusa (greater extent habitat). It represents a priority habitat with a high degree of plant species of conservation interest. Among these there is pancratium angustifolium Lojac, which is an endemic species of Pelagie Islands (Linosa, Lampedusa). In the SCI it can be found on sand and volcanic slags in western and eastern Cala Pozzolana and along the south-easterly ridges of Monte Calcarella. Pancratium angustifolium with “EN” status is a threatened species. The promotion of a recovery plan of this species, which can be found into the SCI, is also important in view of the fact that the island is its typical location. The species is threatened by the activities of bulbs and flowers uprooting, by coastal erosion and by the introduction and spread of invasive alien species such as Carpobrotus edulis.

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