Murgia Alta - Italy
The Site of Community Importance Murgia Alta IT9120007 is located in Puglia, Italy, and it has an area of 1258,89 km2. The most important habitat types in this site, according to 42/93/EEC directive are 6210(*)Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia) (*important orchid sites) and 6220* Pseudo-steppe with grasses and annuals of the Thero-Brachypodietea. The regional Authority, in charge for compliance to the Habitat directive is most concerned of the degradation of the habitat (loss, fragmentation, quality depletion) particularly in connection to the conservation of Falco biarmicus feldeggi and Falco naumanii, (globally threatened and priority species according to the Bird Directive). These species are present in the reproductive phonological phase. About ten years were elapsed in the boundaries definition of the SCI Murgia Alta IT9120007, located in a hill area of Regione Puglia and to formalize its inclusion in Natura 2000 network. In such a time span the area, which is characterized by the presence of unique highly diverse ecosystems and also of endemic and threatened species, was exposed to a tremendously accelerated process of habitat fragmentation and contamination both within and at its borders by a number of combined pressures. Among these: •the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) drove transformation of grassland pastures into agricultural (cereal crops) areas by stone (rock) graining (clearance), which also induced soil erosion and sediment deposition in aquifer, contamination; •the illegal waste and toxic mud dumping on transformed areas causing heavy metal contamination of soils and aquifer system; •the increasing of traditional legal and illegal mining activities; wind farms infrastructures. •below-average precipitation for many years.
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