CONSERVATION OF THE TERRITORY

According to the Nature Network 2000 plan (Regional Law 56/2000), the Calvana habitat has been recognized as deserving protection and conservation, since the abandonment of farming and pasturage after the 1950s has resulted in degradation of the ecosystem’s naturalist conditions.
There are secondary grasslands, created by the hand of man, devoted to the crops of rural populations and above all to pasturage for sheep and goats up to the past century. The slow, patient grazing of thousands of sheep and goats has kept the characteristic ecosystem of the ridges intact over the course of time.
Specifically the habitat, classified under code 6210, Abandoned grasslands on a neutral-basophilic substrate (Fescue – Brome) is remarkable for the presence of abundant, diversified types of orchids (“stupendous blossoming of orchids”), on the ridge and the slopes nearest the crest, on a basically calcareous substratum and fields with an unusual wealth of species.


This is a system with widely differing environments and a wealth of species, linked in good part to the long-standing permanence of traditional forms of pasturage. The landscape on the heights of Calvana is distinguished by extensive grasslands with sparse trees and shrubs gathered in clumps.
Regulatory context – S.I.C. Calvana (Site of EC interest).
The safeguarding system referring to SIC La Calvana is defined in PTCP by art. 7 “Safeguarding Open Territory” and by art. 15 “Biotopes and geotopes – Provincial ecological network” of the regulations for implementation, as well as by Title II of the Territorial Statute “Open Territory” and in particular in Chapter 2.  “Safeguarding the landscape and protected areas”.
It coincides with L’ANPIL Monti della Calvana (APFI08), instituted by Del.G.C. of the Comune of Barberino del Mugello no. 54 of 17.10.2003 and Del.C.C. of the Comune of Calenzano no. 116 of 27/10/03).
The management plan SIC-SIR “La Calvana”, approved by Resolution of the Provincial Council n°57 of 28 April 2014, aims to identify the explicit measures required to provide for the “maintenance or restoration, in a satisfactory state of conservation, of the natural habitats and species of flora and fauna of interest to the EC”, taking account of “economic, social and cultural requisites, as well as regional and local particularities”.
The measures to be implemented have thus been decided on the basis of the ecological requirements of the species and habitats to be safeguarded and the dangers to which they are subjected.

 

The objectives on the managerial level thus depend on the species and habitats of European-wide and regional interest present on the site, aiming:
• primarily at conserving the animal and vegetal populations currently present;
• over the long term, according to the regulations of Dir.C.E. no. 43/92, which specifies as essential goal of general interest, pursued by the European Union, the safeguarding, protection and improvement of the quality of the environment, at restoring those populations recently reduced in number almost to the point of disappearing (the Ortolan bunting, the yellow-bellied toad, nesting raptors, etc.). Restoration of these species is strongly influenced by conditions external to the Site, such as poaching, or overwintering areas, and the availability of lands suitable in extent and ecological quality for ecological connection.

 

One of the main causes of threat to the habitats involved in the project consists of a lack of planning for the use of such areas, especially as concerns the effect of pasturing activity in habitats of EU interest. While some portions of pasture are underused, with the progressive invasion of underbrush, others are locally overused, around watering points, or where flocks are pastured  pasturing also during the winter months.  
 

The Report of the plan specifies the major naturalist problems, the main critical elements and the main conservation measures to be adopted, as set forth in Del.G.R. 5 July 2004, no.644 Implementation art.12, paragraph 1, letter a) of L.R. 56/2000 (Regulations for the conservation and safeguarding of natural and semi-natural habitats, of wild flora and fauna). Approval of technical regulations concerning forms and methods of safeguarding and conservation of Sites of Regional Importance (SIR).

Principal critical elements within the site.
- Reduction/cessation of pasturing, with degradation and/or disappearance of secondary grasslands, reduction of environmental heterogeneity, disappearance of watering places (the habitat of amphibians).
- Frequent forest fires, which can cover very extensive areas
- Presence of extensive reforesting of dense, coeval conifers, with renewal of the black pine in the grasslands.
- Erosion of the ridges due to the passage of off-road vehicles.
- Widespread damage to the turf caused by wild boar.
- Local phenomena of overgrazing by domestic cattle causing damage to the turf and erosion of the soil.
- Risk of disturbing colonies of Chiropters due to speleological activity.
- Presence of electric power lines.
- Presence of arboreal topsoil with high anthropic utilization, of degraded and/or poor ecological nature.
- Intense hunting activity (which does not threaten the species of conservational interest).
- Hypothesis of installing wind turbines on the ridge.
 
Principal critical elements outside of the site.
- Widespread reduction of pasturage and disappearance of traditional pasturage and farming systems, with growing threat to the species linked to such environments due to phenomena of fragmentation and isolation.
- High degree of anthropization around the edges of the site.
- Mining activity, either present or foreseen.
 
Principal goals of conservation
1. Conservation and, where necessary, restoration of complex environmental mosaic determined by traditional ways of using the soil (very high priority).
2. Conservation of important populations of nesting birds inhabiting the grasslands and the mosaics of grasslands, underbrush and woods (very high priority).
3. Conservation of water collection system (mainly artificial) which supports abundant population of Amphibians (high priority).
4. Conservation of integrity of the site (high priority).
5. Reduction of anthropic impact deriving from off-road vehicles and speleological activity (medium priority).
6. Numerical control of wild boar populations (medium priority).
7. Conservation of important floral populations of orchids (medium priority).
8. Conservation of mesophyll forests of white hornbeam (low priority).
9. Re-naturalizing of conifer reforesting (low priority).
 
Source: Management plan of SIC – SIR “Calvana”, Report of plan. Full text:


 

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