A further global challenge alongside the menace of global warming is to address the progressive loss of biological wealth due to the disappearance of species, and search to invert the trend.
Biodiversity is a fundamental factor essential to the life of man, resulting in a form of ecosystem richness, where the sum of benefits from the individual species into a sort of overall supersystem of all living things generates a multiplier effect in environmental benefits.
Acea is aware of addressing the global challenge, where responses do not lend themselves to precise measurement. However, while awaiting broader agreement on strategies and shared lines of action, Acea already takes concrete action to safeguard biodiversity, within its territories of operation, including:
- Containment of impact from overhead high and medium voltage (HV, MV) lines on bird species – Acea pursues this action especially in areas of special natural value, in collaboration with the area protection bodies and sectorial experts, seeking the best technological answers to the numerous problems caused to birdlife by the transmission lines in such protected areas;
- Protection of the peregrine falcon, in collaboration with Ornis Italica, a nonprofit organisation active in the study and safeguard of bird life - This is a long-standing partnership, begun around 2000-2003, which has led to innovative measures in support of
reproduction of raptor species. These include the use of HV transmission pylons as falcon nesting sites, and the recent provision of an 80-metre high water reservoir, on Rome’s Vergine Aqueduct, for the nesting of peregrine falcons. The success of initiatives started as long ago as 2008, and continued over time, is seen in the extraordinary increase in numbers of the species, which is classified “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (ICUN). A webcam placed at a nest, accessible at www. birdcam.it, permits the public to follow the reproductive season year after year: from the laying of eggs (late February) to the departure of the fledglings (early June).
- Protection of springs and the surrounding areas, which has made it possible to maintain conditions of elevated biological variety and richness in vast areas of natural interest - Acea also conducts constant monitoring of impacts on recipient bodies of water, again providing constant investments of skills and advanced technologies in contribution to the preservation of natural capital of extraordinary
PEREGRINE FALCON NESTING SITE AT SALONE, ROME
In 2005, after an absence of around 30 years, the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) returned to nest at Rome. In 2008, thanks to a joint undertaking of Acea and the Ornis italic ornithological association, the birds began to nest on a water tank of the Vergine Aqueduct, in the Salone zone at the edge of Rome.
In 2014, the original couple of falcons, named Appio and Vergine were joined by a young male who is the offspring of different pair of falcons, named Aria and Vento, that nest on a building of the Faculty of Economy and Commerce of the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’.
According to the ornithologists, the new male, Alex, caused a disturbance in the pairing of the original couple, with consequent reduction in reproductive success, seen in the maturation of a sole fledgling from the three eggs that were laid.
The story for 2014 was once again followed with great interest by many Italians and others abroad, as the reproductive season unfolded.
The Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/birdcam.italia) created for Appio and Vergine is heavily followed, and received over 37,000 “likes” in just a few months.
The site www.birdcam.it also attracts thousands of visitors, especially during the days of laying and hatching the eggs.