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"Measures for the conservation of Bonelli's eagle, Egyptian vulture and Lanner falcon in Sicily"

Reference: LIFE14 NAT/IT/001017 | Acronym: LIFE ConRaSi



Sicily represents a key area for three species listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive: Bonelli’s eagle (Aquila fasciata), Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) and lanner falcon (Falco biarmicus). It hosts 100% of the confirmed nesting population of Egyptian vulture, and 65% of the Italian population as a whole and 65% of the national lanner population. Moreover, more than 60% of Sicilian nesting pairs of Bonelli’s eagle is found in the nine SPAs where the project will be implemented.

The three species are all endangered. The population of Egyptian vulture in Sicily has decreased by 85-90% over the past 30 years, mainly due to changes in the agricultural practices and the reduction of extensive goat and sheep grazing, while the Bonelli’s eagle is suffering as a result of poaching of eggs and chicks. It is threatened with extinction in the region in the coming decades.


The overall goal of the LIFE ConRaSi project is to improve the reproductive success of Bonelli's eagle, Egyptian vulture and lanner populations, by carrying out habitat improvement measures. The aim is to increase the number of nesting pairs and their area of distribution. Specifically, the project aims to:

  • Halt nest predation by poachers in Sicily;
  • Improve the trophic (nutritional) capacity of the Sicilian territories where the species occur, by setting up feeding sites and rabbit hutches;
  • Gain a detailed picture of the three species’ demography, mortality rates and survival rates, as well as their distribution o in relation to the Natura 2000 network, proposing, where necessary, adjustments (i.e. new boundaries of current sites and inclusion of new sites);
  • Draw up a genetic map of the Bonelli's eagle population;
  • Set up guidelines for habitat management aimed at improving the status of the three species, through the development of models of habitat preference and related habitat suitability models;
  • Draw up the National Action Plan for Bonelli's eagle and its adoption by the national and regional institutions; and
  • Improve information offered to stakeholders and the general public in the areas where the species occur.
  • Expected results:

  • Reduction by 80-90% of nest predation by poachers affecting the Sicilian population of Bonelli's eagle and the reduction of the problem for the lanner;
  • Stabilisation and possible increase in the population of Egyptian vulture, through an increase in reproductive success, a reduction in mortality and recruitment of new individuals (fledging rate increased from 1% to 1.49% for young nesting pairs) and the establishment of new breeding pairs (3-5 pairs by 2020);
  • Complete census across the entire regional territory of the breeding population of Bonelli's eagle and Egyptian vulture, and the population of lanner inside the targeted SPAs;
  • Exhaustive genetic mapping of the Bonelli's eagle population as a tool for combatting the illegal market of birds of prey in Italy and abroad;
  • Preparation of a National Action Plan for the conservation of Bonelli's eagle;
  • Recolonisation of recently abandoned areas because of trophic problems thanks to the increased availability of prey species (wild rabbit) and colonisation of new territories due to an increase in reproductive success;
  • Equipping of 10 individual Bonelli's eagle/year with GPS satellite transmitters to track the movements and collect data about juvenile dispersal and mortality;
  • Increased knowledge of the ecology of the species, through the assessment of habitat preferences and collection/documentation of prey and food remains at nests; and
  • Implementation of land management compatible with the presence of the target species thanks to the operational tools developed by current project and made available to the regional councils, regional parks, nature reserves.


    Reference: LIFE14 NAT/IT/001017
    Acronym: LIFE ConRaSi
    Start Date: 01/09/2015
    End Date: 31/10/2021
    Total Eligible Budget: 2,877,095 €
    EU Contribution: 2,071,508 €


    Coordinating Beneficiary: WWF Italia - ONG - Onlus
    Legal Status: PNC
    Address: Via Po 25c, 00198, Roma,
    Contact Person: Antonio POLLUTRI
    Email: Send Email
    Website: Visit Website

    LIFE Project Map



    • Birds


    • grazing
    • endangered species


    • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directive (21.05.1992)
    • Directive 2009/147 - Conservation of wild birds - Birds Directive (codified version of Directive 79/409/EEC as amended) (30.11.2009)


    • 0 - Non applicable (i.e.species project)


    • Falco biarmicus
    • Neophron percnopterus
    • Hieraaetus fasciatus


    Type Code Name
    SPA ITA020042 Rocche di Entella
    SPA ITA060002 Lago di Pergusa
    SPA ITA050006 Monte Conca
    SPA ITA010029 Monte Cofano, Capo San Vito e Monte Sparagio
    SPA ITA020048 Monti Sicani, Rocca Busambra e Bosco della Ficuzza
    SPA ITA020049 Monte Pecoraro e Pizzo Cirina
    SPA ITA020050 Parco delle Madonie
    SPA ITA030043 Monti Nebrodi
    SPA ITA050012 Torre Manfria, Biviere e Piana di Gela


    Name Type
    WWF Italia - ONG - Onlus Coordinator
    DRSRT(Assessorato Regionale dell’Agricoltura,dello Sviluppo Rurale e della Pesca Mediterranea - Dipartimento Regionale dello Sviluppo Rurale e Territoriale DRSRT), Italy Participant
    GREFA(Grupo de Rehabilitación de la Fauna Autóctona y su Hábitat), Spain Participant
    DRASICILIA(REGIONE SICILIANA- Assessorato del Territorio e dell’Ambiente – Dipartimento Regionale dell’Ambiente (DRA)), Italy Participant