Breeding population of Black Stork, Ciconia nigra, in Italy between 1994 and 2016

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Maurizio Fraissinet *
Lucio Bordignon
Massimo Brunelli
Matteo Caldarella
Enzo Cripezzi
Stefano Giustino
Egidio Mallia
Maurizio Marrese
Nicola Norante
Salvatore Urso
Matteo Visceglia
(*) Corresponding Author:
Maurizio Fraissinet |


The Black Stork Ciconia nigra, following an expansion on European scale, started breeding in Italy in 1994 with one pair in the Piedmont Region and one in the Calabria Region. Since then, the breeding pairs established in Italy have progressively increased up to 18 in 2016, and they are currently in Piedmont, Lazio, Campania, Molise, Apulia, Basilicata and Calabria. However, the number of breeding pairs could be higher than 20, as indicated by records and observations of adults and juveniles, during the breeding period in potentially suitable nesting areas. Despite the low population density in Italy, the trend in the breeding population in Northwest and in Southern Central regions seems to show a slight and high increase respectively. Productivity, breeding success and fledging rate have been considered and analysed. A difference between the two macro areas has been found in the choice of nesting sites, which is on trees for Northwest couples, and cliffs for Southern Central couples. It is necessary to further explore the reason why the small Northwest population does not show any increase and range expansion compared to the Southern Central one.

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