Fuime Toce - Toce River: conservation of riparian habitats in favour of breeding and migratory birds, Italy
The project aimed to help the conservation, rehabilitation and extension of the river and riverbank habitats along a stretch of the river Toce in the Alps, the next largest tributary of Lake Maggiore after the river Ticino (between the municipalities of Domodossola and Pieve Vergonte), in Italy. The project achieved the creation of an area with different water levels down to a maximum depth of 1 m; the restoration of river banks and of the artificial embankments to reduce the erosion; the reduction of the presence of invasive exotic trees and shrubs in erosion; the maintenance of suitable habitat for nesting birds in the lowland hay meadows; the creation of new alluvial forests; the conservation of dry grassland due to closure of roads; the creation of fish refugees. The results of the monitoring survey revealed an increase of some bird species using the restored habitats as nesting, feeding and hunting areas as a positive consequence of the interventions. Moreover four municipalities located in the SCI/SPA were involved and a very good activity campaign to improve public awareness was carried. The project produced five leaflets, a map of paths, a CD-Rom and a website. It also organised 18 public events with visitors and local inhabitants.