Italian Ornithological Web Site
by Alberto Masi since 1996

dal Database Ramsar Sites
Wetlands of International Importance
Italy                                                                                                                  7IT026
Site: Saline di Margherita di Savoia  Designation date: 02/08/1979
Coordinates: 41º24’N 016º04’E Elevation: 0 m Area: 3,871 ha
Location: The area is located 40 km from Foggia and about 20 km from the towns of Manfredonia to the north and Barletta to the south.
Criteria: 2c, 3a, 3b There is an average of 30,000 birds wintering in the area. It is home to the largest colonies in Italy of Recurvirostra avosetta, Charadrius dubius, Sterna albifrons, S. hirundo and Larus sp.. The breeding of particularly rare species (especially for Southern Italy) has been observed, including Tringa totanus, Glareola sp. and  Sterna sandvicensis.
Wetland Types: Sp, 5 The area is a lagoon from which salt is extracted, and is in direct contact with the sea through inlet channels.
Biological/Ecological notes: The flora is that of a hypersaline environment. Three species included in the Italian list of protected species (“Lista Rossa delle Specie di Piante Italiane”) occur in this site. These species are Althenia filiformis - a Mediterranean species found in coastal saltmarshes, which is now present in only one site in Tuscany and in a few sites in Puglia and Sicily and is threatened by changes to its habitat. Secondly,  Limonium avei - a species found in lagoons and coastal marshes. It is a rare species with a fragmentary distribution and it is present in a few sites in Liguria, Puglia and on the main Italian islands. Finally,  Limonium bellidifolium which is  typical of low coastlines on dry, salty soils, which has become rare due to the decay of the coastlines and the intense tourist activities on the beaches.  A new colony of flamingos has been present since 1996 (currently more than 200 pairs).
Hydrological/Physical notes: The salt pan is connected to the Adriatic Sea via three channels and it lies on alluvial soils formally covered by natural lagoons. It is a man-made area, the characteristics of which (water levels, salinity) are changed almost entirely by artificial means.
Human Uses: The area is used by the salt extraction industry. Guided school visits are conducted in the area. Census of wintering, migrating and breeding birds are undertaken.
Conservation Measures: There are special services to control poaching. Various conservation measures have been proposed (1998). These include: removal of stretches of embankments to ensure that certain areas are inaccessible to dogs; reshaping of some islands which are suitable as breeding sites so that they are not affected by fluctuations in the water level of the salt pan;  and banning of hunting in the nearby areas which are most important for the fauna. Other measures include burying some power lines which constitute a danger for birds and the development of educational and information structures.
Adverse Factors: Poaching is the main threat within the area. Intensive hunting on the outskirts (especially in the nearby freshwater areas), presence of stray dogs in the breeding sites of the waterbirds, increasing presence of herring gulls and unforeseen variations to the water level within the salt pan may adversely affect the site.
Most recent Ramsar Information Sheet/datasheet: 1998;  Please see Introduction for more details.

Confronto tra le specie di vertebrati d'interesse comunitario e
nazionale presenti nelle zone umide costiere d'Italia e Puglia

Distribuzione per siti di presenza delle specie

L'autore è vissuto a Margherita di Savoia (Foggia) dal 1946 al 1970.
Ottimo conoscitore dell'area.
Negli anni e per parecchie volte, è tornato all'interno delle Saline per le proprie osservazioni.
          L'elenco di cui sopra è aggiornato al 2001.

Dello stesso autore :

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