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LIFE+ RI.CO.PRI. Project

Restoration and conservation of dry grasslands in southern and central Italy

LIFE09 NAT/IT/000118

RI.CO.PR.I is the acronym of the project concerning the "Restoration and conservation of dry grasslands in southern and central Italy". The project aims at the restoration and conservation of dry grassland habitats which are considered as priority by the European Union, and it is coordinated by the Province of Rome. The Province of Potenza, the Gallipoli Cognato Park, University of Rome Tor Vergata and Italian Confederation of Farmers from Basilicata are the associate beneficiaries.

The first habitat, grasslands of Festuco-Brometalia, is one of Europe's biodiversity-richest plant communities, also featuring a high number of rare and endangered species. The second habitat, the pseudo-steppes of the Thero-Brachipodietea, typically distributed in the Mediterranean area, is especially related to two butterfly species, Eriogaster catax and Melanargia arge, whose conservation is considered as priority by the European Union. These habitats are classified as semi-natural because they result from anthropic actions related to the livestock grazing, they are well represented in central and southern Italy, but due to the abandonment and bad management of the livestock farming they are gradually regressing.

The different project actions involve three sites of community importance (SIC): two of them belong to the Province of Rome, "Monte Ruffi" in the municipality of Cerreto Laziale, and "Monte Guadagnolo" which covers most of the territory belonging to the municipality of Capranica Prenestina. The other one, "Dolomiti di Pietrapertosa", belongs to the province of Potenza, and it also covers the municipal territories of Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano.

The project started in January 2010, and it will end in June 2014. The activities carried out by the several partners until now have allowed, through a careful study, to know the real conservation status of the two habitats and of the butterflies living there, and to draw up the guidelines of all the interventions that will be implemented. Moreover, great importance has been given to the communication activities, not only thanks to the related website, but also and especially through meetings with the local communities and the schools interested in the project actions.


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