The European Union and the Ministry of the Environment visit the Lanner Falcon protection project

Last week, we welcomed two representatives of the European Commission and the Ministry of the Environment

On the occasion of the three years of activity of the LIFE Lanner project, the European Commission, as project co-financier, carried out a visit to the project aimed at lanner falcon conservation in the Province of Viterbo. The Lake Vico Nature Reserve and the Marturanum Regional Park welcomed the officials and the project staff who coordinated the activities.

During the visit, the opportunity presented itself to show some aspects of the project. For example, the breeding of three couples of Lanner Falcon, the securing of power lines in the two nature reserves to minimize electrocution risk for raptors and other large birds, and the vegetation cutting to recreate suitable areas for the Lanner Falcons’ feeding behaviour. On top of this, the results of the genetic characterization activities of the species were shown. This kind of analyses have never been carried out at such a large scale before, and were made possible by the collaboration of many national and international bodies. The results of the species’ censuses from previous years in Lazio and Tuscany, which confirm a rapid and worrying decline of this falcon, were also shown.

Group photo of LIFE Lanner staff visited by the European Commission and the Ministri of the Environment
Group photo: LIFE Lanner visited by the European Commission and the Ministry of the Environment

Celebrating what the LIFE Lanner project has achieved so far

The field verifications made it possible to appreciate what was achieved by the project up to this moment. For example, the new areas which were reopened today, better suited to the needs of the lanner, and the structures in which young individuals are raised to be released into the wild, as well as the network of collaborators within various wild animal recovery centres which will merge information from any rescued falcon in a single database.

The LIFE18 NAT/IT/000720 LIFE LANNER project, coordinated by the Ente Monti Cimini – Lake Vico Nature Reserve, will be active until 2025. The project partners are:

  • Regione Lazio
  • Province of Viterbo
  • Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Lazio e della Toscana
  • e-distribuzione
  • Ornis italica
  • BirdLife Malta
A group visiting the project facilities
Visiting the project facilities

The importance of the LIFE Lanner project for conservation

The Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus) is listed by the European Birds Directive as a priority species to receive conservation funding under the LIFE program, and is currently classified as a vulnerable species for Italy. The census data from the last decades shows a steady decline requiring extraordinary measures for the protection of the remaining pairs.

Of the five known subspecies, only one lives in Europe: Falco biarmicus feldeggii, distributed in southern Europe and in small areas in the Caucasus. Of the European population, 85% can be found in Italy, where it is distributed in a discontinuous and fragmented way, with the greatest density in Sicily.

In recent years, several studies have shown the dramatic decrease in the Italian population from 140-172 (National Action Plan, 2007) to 60-80 couples (Biodiversity Journal, 2018). In Lazio, the population went from 10-15 pairs in the 1980s to 5-7 pairs in 2001. In 2015, only one nesting pair was found, and none since 2016.

Our press contact is Giuseppe Puddu (+39 370 1250316, gpuddu [AT] Stay updated on every aspect of the project on this website and on our social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

A Lanner Falcon at Lake Vico Nature Reserve
One of the Lanner Falcons at Lake Vico Nature Reserve