Climate Change: impacts on migratory birds in the Mediterranean basin

Project on the spring migration of Trans-Saharan Birds in the island of Ustica

The Foundation intends to take action to continue the spring migration project of birds that cross the Sahara and the Mediterranean from Africa each spring to reach European nesting sites. This project has been carried out by the Palermo Ornithological Station since 1999, stopping only during the Covid period.

It involves placing nets between April 15 and May 15 to capture migrants, an activity carried out by ringers authorized by Ispra as part of Ispra’s ‘Small Islands’ project. The project is being conducted in the farmhouse of Giuseppe Mancuso, who has made available from the beginning the Mediterranean scrubland in the area he owns for the capture of the birds.

The various ringers and trainees who take turns over the four weeks make the rounds of the nets every hour, pick up the birds, take their measurements and ascertain their physiological state (muscle and fat), then ring and release them. Over the previous 25 years, the number of ringed birds has been around one hundred thousand individuals. The ability to make a correlation between migration trends and meteorological data over the years may allow us to appreciate or not appreciate climatic changes over the long term.

For more detailed information on the Trans-Saharan Birds spring migration project on the island of Ustica, please download the relevant documents at the following links: