The decline of ground-nesting birds in the agrarian landscape of Italy

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Authors summarize the historical and current status of some granivorous birds linked to agri-environments in Italy, namely Skylark (Alauda arvensis), Woodlark (Lullula arborea), Crested Lark (Galerida cristata), Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra), Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla) and Corn Bunting (Emberiza calandra), pointing out that the most declining species are Calandra Lark (sedentary) and Short-toed Lark (transaharian migrant), less Skylark (sedentary and short-distance migrant), more or less stable Crested Lark (sedentary), Woodlark and Corn Bunting (both sedentary and short-distance migrants); all of them are mainly associated with “extensive” agriculture, which is practised in wide farmlands, but actually with “intensive” methods, that authors consider the main cause of depletion of these birds. The rural development reforms planned for the 2007-2013 period appear to be an opportunity to resolve some environmentally harmful effects arisen from the measure application in the previous period; agri-environment measures, rewarding farmers improving farmland with land able to provide food, shelter and nesting sites for wildlife, should be more competitively funded and paid in accordance with the importance of the environmental benefits provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-90
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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