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In the saltpans of Carloforte, an artificial nest to protect migratory birds: a new MEDSEA project with Patagonia and Lipu

Wetlands are one of the most important environmental resources of our planet as reservoirs of biodiversity and natural productivity. The Saltpans of Carloforte, among these, host some of the most important avifaunal rarities of Sardinia, which however are in danger, especially during the nesting period, due to anthropogenic disturbances and the presence of stray animals. 

The Municipality of Carloforte is committed to the enhancement of the former salt compendium of Carloforte, both from the point of view of restoring the hydraulic system of the Saltwork system and from the point of view of its use. In this context, the MEDSEA Foundation has started a collaboration with the Municipality of Carloforte on the island of San Pietro and with the LIPU (Italian League for the Protection of Birds) for the conservation of the natural site "Ex Saline di Stato di Carloforte", with the objective of protecting and conserving the ecosystem and the natural habitat along with the different varieties of fauna and plant species living there. 

This collaboration has allowed the development of a project “A shelter for the migratory birds”, whose goal is to preserve the saltpans as a crucial spot for migratory birds. The project is also supported by the well-known clothing brand “Patagonia” which for years has supported environmental organizations in promoting concrete actions to encourage long-term changes, through the “Patagonia Environmental Grants Program Fund”. 

“The project aims to redevelop and restore the internal banks of the saltpan to protect the avifauna species most at risk from the attack of numerous and persistent disturbances and threats (rats, dogs, etc.) - Alessio Satta, president of the MEDSEA Foundation, explained -. Furthermore, in support of the protection action, it is intended to raise awareness among the users of the salt pan on migratory species, so as to contribute to their conservation and monitoring ". 

"Nature, in forty years of inactivity of the salt pans, has regained possession of its natural habitat, fortunately never really compromised - Luciano Durante, manager of the Lipu Oasis in Carloforte, says - with tens of hundreds of Flamingos and numerous other species such as Avocets, Stilt, Young Friar, Shelducks, the common Gull, the slender-billed one and the Audouin’s one. The latter, among the others, has lately given excellent signals, generously nesting for the first time in 25 years with 15 pairs observed ... The redevelopment, the restoration of the embankments and some "buffer barriers" also become important to favor and protect the nesting of many of the present species or of new others coming ". 

"The Island of San Pietro is an important Special Conservation Area. In this context, - the mayor of Carloforte, Stefano Rombi, adds - the Salt pans constitute a privileged environment, both of a cultural and environmental point of view. We are very happy that, in addition to the work in progress linked to the environmental and cultural use of the site, with this project it is also possible to contribute to the protection of the significant bird heritage that populates the compendium ". 

Among the goals of the project, the improvement of the health of the habitats and the conservation status of the ecosystems, which will guarantee the maintenance of the number of nesting species and will favor the increase in the number of protected species such as the Audouin’s Gull as well as the nesting of new, more recent, species like the Flamingo. The works will begin within the year and must be completed by April 2023. 

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