Effectiveness of the Italian national protected areas system in conservation of farmland birds: A gap analysis

Tommaso Campedelli, Guido Tellini Florenzano, Londi Guglielmo Londi, Cutini Simonetta Cutini, Lorenzo Fornasari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conservation measures, and particularly the selection of protected areas, at least in Italy, have always preferred areas characterised by low levels of human presence and intervention. One of the most evident consequences of this situation is the great disparity in the protection level afforded to the species with different ecological needs, e.g. those linked to woodland vs. those living in open habitats, above all in farmland. The object of this paper is to stress the effectiveness of the Italian protected area network in the protection of bird species breeding in agricultural landscapes. Starting from a national open-habitat breeding bird list, using the data of the MITO 2000 project (Italian breeding birds monitoring project), we have built for each of them a national-scale ecological model, comparing the percentage of suitable habitat occurring inside and outside four different protected-area types (National Parks, Other Protected Areas, Natura 2000 sites and IBAs). Models were built using MaxEnt, a presence-only modelling method. Our results show, with some differences among species, how the national protected areas system fails to guarantee an acceptable level of protection for farmland species, while those breeding in mountain open-habitat have a quite good protection rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-64
Number of pages14
Issue numberSPEC. DECEMBER
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Farmland birds
  • Gap-analysis
  • MaxEnt
  • Protected areas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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