200+ Hunters’ ponds improve wetland biodiversity in Italy

July 3, 2024
July 3, 2024 FACE

Across Europe, hunters are very often displaying their expertise in conservation. Conservation actions like; noticing a decline in a certain bird species, finding a suitable site and having the experience and the community the build or restore a nature site.

A clear example of this can be seen in the Marche region of Italy, where around two hundred artificial ponds have been constructed as fixed hides for hunting waterbirds.

These ponds were constructed several years ago by Italian hunters. These ponds are maintained year-round through the daily efforts and financial contributions of waterfowl hunters. This ongoing maintenance ensures suitable habitats and optimal water levels, which benefit many bird species, both those that are hunted and those that are not. As a result, these habitats provide resting places, food sources, and breeding grounds, even during the hunting off-season.

Please check out the videos below, they show an Eurasian common coot (Fulica atra) with its chicks and Black-winged stilt (Himantopus Himantopus).


In light of the recently approved Europe’s new Nature Restoration Law, here’s another successful wetland restoration project in Italy. Conservation action is essential for biodiversity and the efforts of hunters should be well integrated into future European and national frameworks to support local restoration actions. This project is another excellent example of how hunters are already contributing to the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and nature restoration targets.

Wetlands are one of the natural habitats that have been decreasing the most in Europe. The loss of these important natural spaces has serious consequences for biodiversity, particularly for the indigenous fauna and flora of these habitats. For waterfowl, wetlands are essential; they spend much of their lives in this habitat, nestingbreedingfeeding, sheltering from predators, and resting between migrations.

See also: another pond restoration project: https://www.biodiversitymanifesto.com/2023/07/04/mileoc-124-ponds-restored-in-5-years-by-the-fdc31/

Source: Dr. Michele Sorrenti, FIDC (Federazione Italiana Della Caccia)

Project location: La Marche, Italy
Types of actions carried out: Management of habitats and wildlife
Habitat types concerned: Wetlands
Species concerned: Huntable species, Birds, Generalist predators, Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Fulica atra (Eurasian common coot) with its chicks and Black-winged stilt (Himantopus Himantopus).
Year the project was started: 2019 ongoing
Main partners involved: FIDC (Federazione Italiana Della Caccia) www.federcaccia.org

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