The project, despite the various external difficulties it has encountered in recent years, has achieved some notable results, in particular with regards to activities never carried out before, such as the breeding and birth of lanners in a public centre, the genetic characterization of species, and the securing of over 200 electrical pylons to prevent electrocution. Added to this is the reopening of tens of hectares of pastures through bush clearing to recreate open areas for feeding lanners in nature.

Among the merits of the project there is also that of having brought the necessary attention to this forgotten species, thanks to the dissemination and communication activities online and in person, to the scientific comparisons and to the national monitoring of the species carried out in 2023 and has increased the scientific knowledge about the species, which has remained stagnant for years.

Expected results and achievements as of April 22, 2024

  • Release of 30 to 50 Lanner falcons in five breeding seasons, either young individuals born at the recovery centre of Lake Vico or purchased from specialised breeding centres (action C2).

Achievements: from 2020 we released 11 young falcons (2 of which born in the CRAS of Vico) through the use of hacking techniques, which allows a gradual insertion of the falcons into nature, a technique improved in the last two years to ensure better survival. The two last individuals released are still alive in the wild and are followed via GPS. Creation of 3 breeding pairs, one in 2024 and 2 in 2023: 11 eggs laid at the CRAS in Vico in the two years, from which 3 chicks were born.

  • Installation of at least 50 GPS on animals that will be released with the technique of hacking, and the installation of 4 hacking boxes in the Lazio region (actions A1, C2 and D1).

Achievements: installation of GPS on the 11 animals which have been released, and installation of 2 hacking boxes in Lazio. This technique allows the lanners to get used to the releasing area, amerliorating their knowledge before the release.

  • Monitoring of Lanner falcon populations in Lazio and Malta, including at 7 historic nests in Lazio, and the training of 15 people to supervise monitoring (actions A2, A3 and D1).

Achievements: development of the monitoring protocol for lanner breeding pairs. Annual monitoring in Lazio and Malta. Training of 52 technicians through identification courses. In 2023 LIFE LANNER coordinated a national-level monitoring of the lanner, promoted by the Lazio Region, in the 13 regions that historically hosted the species. The results reported the presence of only 24 nesting pairs and 36 occupied territories.

  • Adjustment of existing structures and construction of new aviaries to realise a captive breeding centre at the Vico Reserve (actions A1 and C1).

Achievements: improvement of existing aviaries, construction of 4 new aviaries for breeding pairs (2 with LIFE funding and 2 with non-LIFE funding from the Lake Vico rescue centre). Conversion to nursery of a room at the rescue centre.

  • Restoration of 144 ha of natural and semi-natural grasslands, such as hunting areas for young Lanner falcons (actions A1 and C4).

Achievements: reduction of shrub cover in the protected areas of Monte Casoli Bomarzo, Lake Vico and Valle del Treja, Marturanum (76.5 hectares in total). Such locations provide vital hunting grounds for these birds of prey, but their ever-decreasing availability threatened the number of breeding pairs in Italy.

  • Restoration of 5 troughs for the pasture of cattle and horses for the maintenance of the prairies by grazing (action C4).

Action in preparation

  • Securing approximately 200 poles along 20 km of medium/low voltage power lines within a radius of 2 km from the hacking boxes (action A1 and C3).

Achievements: 200 poles in the Natural Reserve of Lake Vico and the Regional Park of Marturanum have been secured.

  • Reduction of vegetation on 8 rocky walls as possible future reproductive areas (action C5).

Action not carried out yet.

  • Creation of the national genetic database at IZS of Lazio and Toscana and development of new genetic markers, and update of International Gene Bank with these markers (actions A5 and C6).

Achievements: development of new genetic markers for the characterization of Falco biarmicus feldeggii (at population and individual level) and differentiation from other subspecies of F. biarmicus, based on the analysis of 115 samples. In this regard, an article was published in the international journal Plos One, in addition to the sequences deposited in GenBank, an international genetic database.

  • Creation of a recovery centre network for the study of Lanner and other falcons, involving 15 centres of recovery in central and southern Italy and in Malta (actions A1 and C7).

Achievements: creation of a network involving 37 recovery centers present in Northern, Central and Southern Italy and in Malta. Creation by the IZSLT of a database where the operators of the centers can enter information on the admissions of lanner specimens and similar species. Over 100 recordings but mostly of peregrine falcons.

  • Preparation of an identification manual for the Lanner falcon, guidelines, and evaluation forms for recovery centres.

A Video has been published to help people identifying Lanners, much more efficiently than a printed guideline.

  • Preparation and approval of the update to the National Action Plan for the Lanner falcon (action A4).

Action postponed.

  • Replication of hacking and other techniques in the Montagne della Duchessa Reserve, Greece and in Malta (action E3).

Action postponed in order to perfectionate the hacking technique.

  • 31 public events on the project, involving around 1790 people, and a national ornithological conference (action E4).

Achievements: presentation of the project at 16 events, reaching approximately 2170 people. We also organised a national workshop about rescue centres for wildlife (the first in Italy), which took place in April 2023. The recording of this even are found online in our video section.