Habitat (R)Evolution: from Amphibians to Birds
| Interventions

This is phase II of the construction works of the Val di Rose natural reserve, with the creation of several new marsh habitats all around the first small core built in 1996. These new environments also include a large basin of approximately five hectares, which has been designed in conjunction with the construction of an overflow flood-control area for rainwater containment of the University of Florence’s Scientific Centre.


Approximately 20 years after the completion of the first wetlands intended specifically for the reproduction of amphibians (as a form of environmental compensation due to the loss of humid lowlands connected with the construction of the university buildings), this area was once again involved in a project aimed at reconstructing the ancient landscape typical of the plain.

The new dimensions and the ensemble of interventions have greatly increased the “capacity” of this site from both an ecological and a landscape point of view. Not only have new environments been built for local populations of amphibians, but at the same time it has also become a place for other species, including birds.

The name given to this intervention is intended to recall the evolutionary path of vertebrates as well as emphasise the revolutionary aspect of this type of action on the territory. 


In a plain heavily degraded by intensive agriculture, and where there is still a constant risk of further land loss to make way for new constructions, this type of project demonstrates a groundbreaking yet practical path of development, protection and territorial enhancement.. 






Carlo Scoccianti


Area of intervention

Protected area adjacent to the WWF Oasis Val di Rose, Sesto Fiorentino (Florence).
The work made it possible to extend the protected area by many hectares. 


Status before intervention

Arable fields (intensive farming) with some illegal structures used as hunting hides.


Type of intervention

Mechanical equipment used to create new marshes, wet meadows, ponds and a lake basin (approximately 5 hectares). 

Demolition of illegal structures used as hunting hides.

Creation of footpaths and two observatories. 


Work status

Completed (November 2013).


Authorities/agencies involved

- University of Florence

- Committee for the WWF Oases of the Florence area


Main bioindicators used to monitor the ecological functionality of the work-site

- Amphibians: refuge and reproduction.

- Waders: stopover during migration, refuge.

- Ducks: stopover during migration, refuge.