Centro Studi Naturalistici (Nature Studies Centre, a non-profit organisation)
Funding support: Regional and EU funding (LIFE+)
Number of staff: 20 (among officers, naturalists and workers)
Number of visitors per year: 8,000
Overall aims of the centre
The Salso Lake Oasis on one hand aims at the conservation of the most threatened animal species present in Puglia, and on the other hand at raising public awareness on the value and importance of wetlands.
Description of the centre
The Salso Lake Oasis is part of the district of wetlands of Capitanata, the most important ones in the South of Italy.
It covers an area of around 1.000 hectares in total divided into 541 hectares of marsh, and 500 dry pasture and wet meadows.
The wetland is, in turn, divided into three valli (a valle is an artificial basin used for fishfarming),Valle Alta, Valle di Mezzo and Salso Lake, of different depths and are almost completely colonised by reed beds with some small areas of open water.
In the Oasis, the Centro Studi Naturalistici promotes and carries out surveys, research and projects, aiming to gain more in-depth knowledge of threatened habitats and species in order to better protect them (i.e: The White Stork Reintroduction Project, the LIFE Nature 2006 Project – Raptor protection in the “Promontory of Gargano” SPA (at the Salso Lake Oasis suitable aviaries has been constructed for the reproduction and following release into the wild of young individuals of Lesser Kestrel), the LIFE+ Nature 2007 Project – Conservation actions for priority birds( in the Salso Lake Oasis, the Naturalistic monitoring and The Oasis Management Plan).
It also runs guided filed excursions, experience-based educational acitivities, family nature programs, birdwatching, lecture/video presentations.
Access is currently permitted only with the support of a nature guide, on booking at the Salso Lake Oasis Office.
Every year about 8.000 people visit the OAsi, the most part of it (about 7.000 being students of primary and secondary school).
The Salso Lake Oasis is located approximately 7.2 km south of Manfredonia town, in the South of Italy.
Main CEPA work areas
Educational programs, production of educational and information material, organisation of events and family nature programmes are proposed with the spirit of encouraging the use of the territory’s resources, ranging from animals to plants, in order to develop greater ecological awareness on the part of those who use these resources and, at the same time, promote a form of eco-compatible tourism which provides emotions instead of material goods.
Top three successes
Reintroduction of White Stork, increase in area biodiversity, reintroduction of Lesser Kestrell, have reached the foreseen objectives because of an effective and forward planning.
Top three challenges
increase in visitor number, habitat restoration, widening of surface area of wetland
Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools; Developing nature trails
Managing / creating habitat; Running a visitor centre; Building / maintaining structures
Working with volunteers
Education and communication
Early years education; Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Lobbying / running campaigns; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials
Auditing / assessing effectiveness; PR and marketing; Fund-raising; Project planning.