Preparatory actions, elaboration of management plans and/or of action plans
ACTION A.1: Census of population living within the project areas

Numerical consistency and development assessment of population living within the project area through the use of census methods (playback during the period of couple making and counting of brigade during the post-breeding period), implemented by two professional ornithologists, coordinated by a Researcher coming from the Dipartimento di Biologia ambientale e BiodiversitÓ of University of Palermo.

ACTION A.2: Census of wild boar (Sus scrofa)

The objective of this action is to know the geographical distribution and the number of individuals of nucleus living in the SPA concerned, with the aim to plan the interventions of control of wild boar population

ACTION A.3: Botanic survey and carrying out of a Habitat and Hydrography Map

With this action we want to know the botanic aspects of the area, and identifying, characterizing and making geo-reference the habitat present.

ACTION A.4: Drawing up of a Plan of Interventions

The action foresees the drawing up of a technical document, namely the Regional Plan of interventions, containing a detail of the project actions and aimed at the conservation of the Sicilian Rock Partridges in the SPA concerned.

ACTION A.5: Genetic Integrity control of Sicilian Rock Partridges

Partridges from different areas could be genetically differentiated. Phylogenetic analyses identified two major phylogroups, splitting partridges from Sicily vs. all the other sampled populations.

ACTION A.6: Creation of structures for the rearing of Sicilian Rock Partridges in semi ľ natural condition

This action will realise the first rearing and reproduction stock in semi-natural condition of species targeted by the project.

ACTION A.7: Recovery of individuals for rearing activity aimed at restocking and local reintroduction.

The action aim is to allow the reproduction in captivity (at least of 30 subject at year), as already happens in order to conserve and increase the presence of species and subspecies (Alectoris chukar, Alectoris graeca, Alectoris rufa) trough the reproduction of specimens in captivity and the construction of first reproductive stock suitable for the future introductions of Sicilian Rock Partridges in other Sicilian areas.

Concrete conservation actions
ACTION C.1: Requalification and protection of suited habitat

The action aim is to carry out corrective interventions in the project areas, aimed at improve the ecological conditions favourable to the presence of the species.

ACTION C.2: Environmental management

The action aim is to assign some surfaces to the cultivation of traditional cereals, very appreciated by the Sicilian Rock Partridge.
In detail, the interventions are addressed to:

  • Creation and management of feeding points
  • Artificial foraging for the winter period (at least 4 months).
  • Creation and management of at least 10 points for the water supply during the three spring months (june, july, august).
ACTION C.3: Wild Boar Control

The best technique of wild boar control (selective drawing), already used with success in other protected areas, is the capture and removal.

ACTION C.4: Hybrid individuals removal

Part of this action will depend from the results achieved by the A5 action.
The action will carry out a series of captures and removals of hybrid individuals through selected captures, with the use of nets and call, during the winter period, in order to avoid the annoyance of species in reproduction.

ACTION C.5: Restocking and local reintroduction

Restocking and local reintroduction today represent management techniques for the conservation of some species of wild fauna. This action foresees the release in nature of at least 30 specimens born in captivity (thanks to the action A7 that we consider as preparatory). This technique derives benefits from the ethological characteristics of the species, that during the period post-breeding aims at creating small groups. The individuals will be released during the month of august and September. The introductions aimed at restocking will be carried out in the areas of Zingaro, Monte Inici and Monte Sparagio, where some species pairs are still present, while in Monte Cofano (where it seems that the species is disappeared), it will be carried out a reintroduction action.

Public awareness and dissemination of results
ACTION D1: SCHOOL EDUCATION ACTIVITIES:

In three Sicilian Provinces (Catania, Palermo and Trapani) about 1000 students to be involved with the project.
Theese Activities aimed at raising awareness about the high value in environmental terms of the Sicilian Rock Partridge.

ACTION D2: Initial conference in Palermo:

he information campaign is mainly addressed to local communities, university students and teachers, university researchers, politic representatives, and civil servants of municipalities engaged in environmental issues, organizations (NGOs, and public ones) engaged in environmental protection activities (such as: WWF, LEGAMBIENTE, LIPU, BIRDLIFE, and etc.), local land users, associations of hunters interests, interest groups in general.

ACTION D3: Web Site

In order to reach a wide audience with regard to the project activities, including the final results as well as the information about the bird involved, it is fundamental the creation of a web site, where it is possible to know the specie and to download all the information needed (both for curiosity and for personal/professional interest).

ACTION D4: Seminars

The aim of the seminars is to share, with the scientific world and the social representatives, the results obtained thanks to the project (and during it).

ACTION D5: Three Photographic Exhibitions

The main aim of the action is to reach a very wide and varied audience.

ACTION D6: Project video

This action has a double reason to exist. It is important from a scientific point of view to have a video able to show all the steps followed in order to reach the conservation effort. Indeed, it is important to underline, that this conservation effort is the first one realised in favour of Sicilian Rock Partridge.

ACTION D7: Awareness raising initiatives addressed to hunters

Stakeholders (local land users, hunters, interest groups) will be actively involved during the activities of project information and dissemination (such as: the initial conference, and the two seminars). Their points of view together with their real and concrete involvement are of fundamental importance for the success of the project (above all in the long period).

Overall project operation and monitoring
ACTION E1: Monitoring of population of Sicilian Rock Partridge

This action is aimed at monitoring the Sicilian Rock Partridge population whitin SPA during the life of the project.

ACTION E2: Monitoring of wild boar population

The census of wild boar population within SPA is a necessary action in order to assess the results achieved by the Action A2.

ACTION E.3: Assessment of dispersion and adaptation capacity of Sicilian Rock Partridge subjects.

The assessment of dispersion and adaptation capacity of subjects breaded in captivity and made free during the intervention of reintroduction or restocking will be acquired trough the radio-tracking technique

ACTION E.4: Clinical and Laboratory investigations for monitoring of health status of Sicilian Rock Partridge game farmed populations.

This action will concern clinical activity, collection of biological samples and laboratory tests. The Veterinary action will follow the whole project period. Clinical activity will be performed in order to evaluate the phenotype and to monitor and report clinical signs (infectious diseases, external parasites, lesions, etc.)

ACTION E.5: After Life Conservation Plan

At the end of the project, the coordinating organisation together with the partner collaboration, will produce an After-LIFE Conservation Plan in paper and electronic format.

ACTION E.6: External Audit

An independent auditor will be nominated by the coordinating beneficiary and it will be in charge to verify the financial statements provided to the Commission in the final project report.

ACTION E.7: Networking with other projects

During the life of the project will carried out the activity of Networking with other projects (not only at regional and national level, but including LIFE III and/or LIFE+ projects).

AZIONE E.8: Project management

Even if the project overall management will be in charge of the coordinating organisation, each project partner has an Internal Coordinator (sometimes called Scientific Responsible) that will be in charge to manage the actions where its Organisation is beneficiary.