Birds of meadow and pasture habitats

Our Department carries out monitoring activities in the main meadows and pastures of Trentino with the following aims: 1) the evaluation of the conservation status of both nesting bird species and their habitats; 2) the launch of a monitoring programme of the nesting bird species included in the Birds Directive AII.I; 3) the evaluation of the conservation status of threatened species according to the Red List of Birds and species of significant ecological and conservation value according to the Action A8 Life+T.E.N.; 4) the identification of the main threats to these species and the elaboration of adequate mitigation strategies.

In the surveyed areas the bird census is conducted along linear transects of 200 m, with a width of 100 m. The sample sites are visited several times during the same season (May-July) in different years. When an individual of a target species is detected, details like its age, sex and possible breeding behaviour are recorded, in order to determine the number of bird couple/territory in the sampling unit and therefore the species density.

The census conducted between 2015 and 2017 has highlighted the ecological deterioration of the provincial meadows and pastures, proved by the general decline in the target species of these habitats. Among the main threats responsible for that there are: 1) the abandon of the marginal areas which are left unmanaged; 2) the conversion of these habitats into other cultivation types; 3) the intensification of zootechnical activities in these habitats, that affect the traditional landscape elements, change the management practice (intensive fertilisation and early mowing) and cause over grazing.

Guidlines for conservation – PDF format (in Italian)