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24/11/2016

The butterfly reign

The field studies carried out by the project researchers confirmed that the Oltrepò Pavese constitutes a paradise for butterflies.

 

Only in Oltrepò the community of butterflies consists of 122 species, a number greater than that of the Netherlands (55) and the UK (55) combined. These 122 species represent 45% of the species present in Italy, which in turn is the European country with more species by far, by hosting 264.

 

What causes this wealth? The altitudinal range and its geographical position between the Alpine and Mediterranean area are two important factors, as well as the presence of diverse natural environments, even among the vineyards.

 

However, this unique wealth is highly dependent on maintaining the right balance between agriculture and open natural environments and could be put in danger, if not properly preserved and protected.

 

In addition, butterflies are important pollinators and act as a "spy" to assess the health of the environment: their decline not only would deprive us of their beauty and grace, but it would give us an important signal of depletion of certain habitats within Oltrepò.

 

For this, the ViNO project will stretch out a list of shared management practices that will maintain this mosaic of biodiversity and agriculture, with the perspective of creating a virtuous circle for the benefit of both.

 

Photos and data of: Francesco Gatti