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Title of the project

Piana FI-PO-PT-PI lakes


Establishment and creation by private hunters of permanent lakes with small depth, by artificial and controlled flooding. These lakes, as private property, are used during game season to hunt ducks, coots and other game birds; in spring and summer hunters put big efforts to grant minimum depth levels and reliable vegetations conditions to support avifauna during pre-nuptial migration and breeding.

The aim is to restore and maintain the wetland; this alluvial plain, comprised among the Province (countries) of Firenze, Prato and Pistoia, was in the past a big internal wetland area, especially during autumn, winter and spring. Now it is the most industrialised and urbanised area of whole Tuscany.

Following actions are regularly conducted: planting of hedges composed of indigenous shrub species, planting of game crops (corn and sorghum) throughout the wetland according to the principles of organic farming. These lakes are today over 40, with variable extension (from 1 to 15ha), so a consistent land surface is yearly subtracted to intensive farming and allocated to a very important biodiversity creation and maintenance activity.
Actions are normally conducted in late summer period by reduced use of mechanical means and consistent use of handwork, in order to grant maximum respect and reduce any bother.

The valuable activity of recreating wetland zones, only conducted by hunters with their own resources, showed important result; all avifauna presence index, yearly checked during IWC and other census activity, are regularly growing in spite of urbanisation and habitat loss. Without hunters big efforts, this big alluvial plain would show a regularly decreasing trend in terms of biodiversity and habitat.


In Frenze and Prato and Pistoria districts exits around 30 permanent lakes extended from 7 to 25 hectares of water surface. In Pisa districts exists now 47 lakes for a total water surface of 80 ha that are semi permanent, i.e. in late spring and summer are dry. Increase of biodiversity in terms of plants and animals. Increase of people awareness of wildlife importance. Increase in public administrators and politicians awareness of hunting as a tool for habitat creation and maintenance


Country Italy
Level Regional
Province(s) Province of Firenze, Prato, Pistoia, and Pisa
Region Tuscany

Starting date


Habitat Types


Protection status of the areas

Natura 2000


Species Caracteristics Huntable species, Migratory species
Species Type Birds

Conservation action(s)

Management of habitats and wildlife (e.g. conservation and restoration activities)


Leading partners Creation and maintenance of lakes are initiatives of groups of hunters not related to particular organization. Collection of data is done by FIDC at national level and local level (fidc.prato@fidc.it).
Other partners District administration of Firenze (http://www.comune.fi.it/export/sites/retecivica/index.html), Prato (http://www.comune.prato.it/), Pistoia (https://www.comune.pistoia.it/) and Pisa (http://www.comune.pisa.it/it/home) recognizing the value of habitat creation, cooperate in such initiatives.

Estimation of the budget (total or annual)

Firenze-Prato and Pistoria districts: maintanance of existing lakes: 750.000 euros/year. Pisa district: around 280.000 euros/year for maintenance of existing lakes.

Estimation of Human Resources needed

For each lake there is a hunter's group variable between 4-12 people. That means that not less than 500 people is involved in habitat maintenance and creation


Vito Mazzarone, Alessandro Poli: Provincia di Pisa Piano Faunistico Venatorio Provinciale 2012-2015(http://www.provincia.pisa.it/uploads/PianoFaunisticoVenatorioProvinciale.pdf)