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Ambrosiano: the outcomes after a year of field work

After the first year of work the Ambrosiano project has given its first results. They represents the basis for designing the final feasiblity study, which will list the needed actions meant to improve the ecological connectivity between Ticino Park and Alto Milanese Park. 



2014 was devoted to the study of the local context and the definition of 18 potential gates that could become the fundamental knots of the ecological network that we intend to restore. In these gates the conflict between human activities and wildlife is very high and shows itself in the impossibility of crossing almost insurmountable infrastructures, such as major roads and railways.



Each of these potential gates was monitored with camera traps to see which species are more present and which suffer most from the fragmentation of the territory. Among the small mammals, we found foxes, hedgehogs, deers, wild boars and rates, while among the birds the most present are woodpeckers, green woodpeckers, nuthatches, kestrels and sparrow hawks.

In general, we found that the level of biodiversity decreases going away from the Ticino Park, which acts as a real "source" of species to the surrounding territories. For this reason, it is essential to ensure safe corridors for those animals moving eastward from the Ticino Park towards Lombardy.



The situation of the flora is conditioned by the high presence of invasive species, such as ailanthus and locust trees (native to Asia) and black cherry (native to North America), which threaten the study area’s native species, increasingly restricted inside negligible areas.



Once identified the gates and understood the conditions of the local biodiversity, during 2015 the project’s consortium is going to assess what are the necessary actions to turn the potential gates into real passages able to allow species to pass through. In parallel, the feasibility of the actions will be evaluated. 

Moreover, the local community will be involved in order to raise its awareness on the issue of ecological connectivity and its importance to keep a healthy and functional environment.