Bogliani G.,University of Pavia |
Viterbi R.,Alpine Wildlife Research Center |
Nicolino M.,Gran Paradiso National Park
Journal of Raptor Research | Year: 2011
Following the reintroduction of the Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) in the western Alps in 1987, the species reappeared in the Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy, where it had not been recorded since 1930. We analysed 1157 sighting records collected inside the park borders from 1989 to 2007. The number of sightings per year was not correlated with the number of captive-bred individuals released during the same year in the western Alps but was positively correlated with the number released one year prior and two years prior. Bearded Vultures were recorded mainly at higher altitudes during warmer months, and at lower altitudes when the terrain was mostly covered by snow, as were the two most abundant ungulates of the park, the alpine ibex (Capra ibex) and the alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), whose carcasses were primary food sources for vultures. Three habitats were used with a frequency significantly higher than expected based on availability: vegetated cliffs and screes, forest-scrub mosaic, and agriculture. Bare rocks and deciduous forests were used less frequently than expected, and other habitats were used in the same proportion as expected, including alpine grassland, coniferous forests, and alpine heaths and scrubs. © 2011 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.
Imperio S.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience |
Bionda R.,Ente di gestione delle Aree protette dellOssola |
Viterbi R.,Gran Paradiso National Park |
Provenzale A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013
Alpine grouses are particularly vulnerable to climate change due to their adaptation to extreme conditions and to their relict distributions in the Alps where global warming has been particularly marked in the last half century. Grouses are also currently threatened by habitat modification and human disturbance, and an assessment of the impact of multiple stressors is needed to predict the fate of Alpine populations of these birds in the next decades. We estimated the effect of climate change and human disturbance on a rock ptarmigan population living in the western Italian Alps by combining an empirical population modelling approach and stochastic simulations of the population dynamics under the a1B climate scenario and two different disturbance scenarios, represented by the development of a ski resort, through 2050.The early appearance of snow-free ground in the previous spring had a favorable effect on the rock ptarmigan population, probably through a higher reproductive success. On the contrary, delayed snowfall in autumn had a negative effect possibly due to a mismatch in time to molt to white winter plumage which increases predation risk. The regional climate model PROTHEUS does not foresee any significant change in snowmelt date in the study area, while the start date of continuous snow cover is expected to be significantly delayed. The net effect in the stochastic projections is a more or less pronounced (depending on the model used) decline in the studied population. The addition of extra-mortality due to collision with ski-lift wires led the population to fatal consequences in most projections. Should these results be confirmed by larger studies the conservation of Alpine populations would deserve more attention. To counterbalance the effects of climate change, the reduction of all causes of death should be pursued, through a strict preservation of the habitats in the present area of occurrence. © 2013 Imperio et al.
Casacci L.P.,University of Turin |
Cerrato C.,Gran Paradiso National Park |
Cerrato C.,National Research Council Italy |
Barbero F.,University of Turin |
And 10 more authors.
Journal of Insect Conservation | Year: 2015
Across its European range, the Euphydryas aurinia complex (Annex II of the Habitats Directive) includes a series of distinct populations. At least 3 taxa occur in Italy, each showing slight morphological differences and distinct eco-ethological features. For the first time, we compared metapopulation dynamics of E. (a.) glaciegenita inhabiting a site in the NW Alps (2,100–2,300 m) with E. (a.) provincialis occurring in the Mediterranean biogeographical region in hilly dry grasslands (700 m). To describe patterns of dispersal, we applied the virtual migration model (VMM) to data collected using Mark-Release-Recapture (MRR). We used parameters of survival and migration to explore metapopulation characteristics. In particular we investigated the relative role of connectivity and patch quality in affecting migration rates. We observed differences between the two metapopulation systems, with the “Alpine” population occurring at higher altitude and in more open habitats, showing lower dispersal propensity. In contrast, even though the “Mediterranean” population is more prone to disperse, migration appears to have higher costs. Dispersal abilities affect metapopulation dynamics, which are at the basis of long-term perspectives of survival for butterfly populations. We discuss our results in the framework of conservation and management options for habitats occupied by these Italian taxa of the E.aurinia complex. © 2014, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.