Animals in agricultural ecosystems: Opportunities for wildlife

with Marco Cucco & Irene Pellegrino


The dramatic increase of the human population on our planet is causing a drastic reduction of the area available for natural environments. Since large tracts of land are occupied by agriculture, it is necessary to strengthen the environmental sustainability of agriculture and enhance the efforts of farmers to improve the use of natural resources.

Farmers must be encouraged to diversify their crops, maintain permanent pastures and preserve ponds and other natural environments. We must find a way to reconcile productive agriculture with the protection of ecosystems, maintaining the complexity and genetic richness of agricultural species, both cultivated and wild.

This lecture will include information on the target organisms (soil fauna, butterflies, birds) used by zoologists to monitor the health status of agro-ecosystems in a standardized way. An overview will also be given of some environments of agricultural interest (vineyards, rice fields), on the wild animals found in them and on some useful measures for the conservation of wildlife.