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Control of invasive alien species to restore threatened habitats in inland wetlands of northern Tuscany

Reference: LIFE11 NAT/IT/000094 | Acronym: SOS Tuscan Wetlands



Currently, the inland wetlands of northern Tuscany are experiencing a drastic loss in biodiversity and habitats, as a result of the impact of some invasive alien species. This situation has led, in recent years, to the extinction or rapid decline of several species of EU interest; and to the disappearance of once abundant vegetation formations, such as water lily and other formations associated with the Annex I habitat (Natural euthrophic lakes with Magnopotamion or Hydrocharition-type vegetation). The latter is now confined to just a few small scattered sites.


The project’s overall objective is to improve the conservation status of the wetland habitats and species in four Natura 2000 network sites in northern Tuscany: Lago di Sibolla; Palude di Pardi; Bosco di Chiusi e Paduletta di Ramone; and Palude di Fucecchio. All the sites are seriously threatened by the presence of invasive alien species (fauna and flora). Specific project objectives are:

  • Local eradication of Coypu (Myocastor coypus);
  • Reduction or local eradication of populations of alien crayfish (Procambarus clarkia);
  • Maintenance of the restored habitat, preserving original species and habitats;
  • Improvement of the water quality of Lago di Sibolla (Lake Sibolla) via plant purification;
  • Restoration of riverine habitats, preventing colonisation by the invasive shrub species, Amorpha fruticosa;
  • Restoration of lowland forest habitats, which are very rare in Tuscany and on the Italian peninsula, and of the bordering woods of Quercus pubescens;
  • Establishment of a buffer zone to protect lowland forests;
  • Restoration of humid grasslands; and;
  • The establishment of habitats for wetland plant and animal species through the creation of small ponds in woods.
  • Expected results: The main quantified expected results include:

  • Local eradication or reduction of alien animal and plant species and consequent habitat maintenance;
  • Improvement of the conservation status of endemic species;
  • Improvement of habitat and site quality by restoring lowland, grassland and other habitats of EU interest;
  • Reintroducing, where necessary, original, endangered species of EU interest;
  • Improving a sewage treatment plant located close to Lake Sibolla;
  • Building (long-term) capacity to control invasive alien species among the staff of the beneficiary; and
  • Increased awareness among local people, associations and other stakeholders of the importance of controlling and removing invasive alien species


    Reference: LIFE11 NAT/IT/000094
    Acronym: SOS Tuscan Wetlands
    Start Date: 31/08/2012
    End Date: 28/02/2019
    Total Eligible Budget: 1,374,725 €
    EU Contribution: 687,362 €


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Consorzio di Bonifica del Padule di Fucecchio
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: Via Libert, 28, 51019, Ponte Buggianese (PT),
    Contact Person: Sandro BORSACCHI
    Email: Send Email

    LIFE Project Map



    • Invasive species


    • protected area
    • biodiversity
    • wetland
    • sensitive area


    • 6420 - Mediterranean tall humid grasslands of the Molinio-Holoschoenion
    • 7150 - Depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion
    • 7210 - Calcareous fens with Cladium mariscus and species of the Caricion davallianae
    • 91E0 - "Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)"
    • 91F0 - "Riparian mixed forests of Quercus robur, Ulmus laevis and Ulmus minor, Fraxinus excelsior or Fraxinus angustifolia, along the great rivers (Ulmenion minoris)"
    • 91AA - Eastern white oak woods


    • Triturus carnifex


    Type Code Name
    SCI IT5120018 Lago di Sibolla
    SPA IT5130007 Padule di Fucecchio
    SPA IT5140010 Bosco di Chiusi e Paduletta di Ramone


    Name Type
    Consorzio di Bonifica del Padule di Fucecchio Coordinator
    Università degli Studi di Firenze - Dipartimento di Biologia Evoluzionistica "Leo Pardi", Italy Participant