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LIFE FALKON - Fostering the breeding rAnge expansion of central-eastern Mediterranean Lesser Kestrel pOpulations


Timespan: 01/07/2018 -  31/12/2022

Partners:
TECLA (Lead partner);

ALDA-European association for Local Democracy
, France – Partner;
ISPRA (Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e Ricerca Ambientale), Italy – Partner;
Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy – Partner;
Hellenic Ornithological Society, Greece – Partner.
 

LIFE FALKON at a glance
The LIFE FALKON project focuses on biodiversity and conservation of the Lesser Kestrel. The Lesser Kestrel is a diurnal raptor of European conservation priority whose breeding population stronghold is located in the Mediterranean region. Its conservation status is currently slightly improving, also thanks to LIFE-funded efforts.
However, ongoing climate change is expected to result in range contraction in the southern breeding range and expansion towards north-east in the near future. The central-eastern Mediterranean region plays a crucial role for any future northward expansion, which triggers likely by those populations located at the north-eastern distribution range margins.
By means of a transnational partnership between Italy and Greece, together hosting 36% of the global population, LIFE FALKON implements shared conservation actions aimed at strengthening those lesser kestrel populations settled at the north-eastern margins of the breeding distribution range. These actions aim at improving the ability of the species to respond to climate warming, fostering its northward range expansion.

Objectives
The project aims at:

  • Fostering the resilience of the central-eastern European population to climate change, improving the conservation status of Italian and Greek populations breeding at the north-eastern margin of breeding distribution range;
  • Improving foraging and nesting habitat quality in intensive farmland areas and SPAs where the species breeds in the project areas;
  • Establishing a collaborative international network;
  • Promoting public awareness concerning the lesser kestrel and biodiversity conservation, with emphasis on environmental education;
  • Obtaining an accurate assessment of the conservation status of those populations crucial for the northward breeding expansion.


General actions of the project:

  • Provide nest boxes and nesting towers to foster the settlement of lesser kestrel breeding colonies within the context of population reinforcement programs;
  • Implement communication actions addressed to key stakeholders and decision makers;
  • Organise meetings and workshops with both conservation experts from EU and non-EU countries and beneficiaries of previous LIFE projects targeting lesser kestrel;
  • Organise public awareness campaigns focusing on the role of the LIFE programme in biodiversity conservation, on lesser kestrel threats and ecology;
  • Set up standardized monitoring protocols providing maps of breeding sites, suitability maps for both breeding and foraging needs.

 


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