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IT4050024 - SCI/SPA Biotops and environmental restorations of Bentivoglio, San Pietro in Casale, Malalbergo and Baricella

General description:

The site covers a wide ‚Äč‚Äčagricultural plain area between the village of Bentivoglio and the Reno river, occupied until the eighteenth century by a system of marshes, the ancient 'Valli di Malalbergo', which was originated in the south of the current course of Reno since 1200 and which has nearly reached its maximum extension towards the south between 1600 and 1700. Later the area was reclaimed by transforming the marshes in rice fields and preserving the valleys dammed by the accumulation of water which were then dried in the '50s and '60s when it was nearly ceased the cultivation of rice. They were, therefore, kept a few biotopes, in which the owners were primarily interested in hunting. Within the site the only 'wreck' biotope is 'Valle La Comune' (63 ha), located at the east of Malalbergo, between canals Botte and Lorgana.

The other historical biotope is 'Le Tombe' (25 ha), which after the disappearance of the rice fields in the '50s, however, was cultivated for several years before being partly restored in 1967. Between the 60s and 80s have been made the settling tanks of the sludge and the water of the sugar factory nearby Malalbergo and San Pietro in Casale and several ponds for fish farming (some tens of hectares) that have formed, along with many stream and small ambushes for hunting, a kind of 'life raft' for some plant and animal species that have adapted to this kind of artificial wetlands. Between 1990 and 2002 have been restored, especially by farmers, wide wetlands, grasslands, shrubs, hedges, and groves of about 550 hectares of land set aside through the application of Community environmental measures aimed at the creation and management of habitats for wild animals and plants. The areas subject to environmental restoration are located on the edge of existing biotopes and/or connecting dried up recently areas.

The site comprises a 6.8 km stretch of the Reno river and its floodplains, from the confluence with the Navile canal to the bridge between S.Maria Codifiume and S.Pietro Capofiume, and significant sections of canals Riolo, Tombe, Calcarata, Navile, Savena abbandonata, Botte that connect the areas with natural and semi-natural environments. About 20% of the site falls in the oasis of fauna protection 'Ex risaia di Bentivoglio' and 'Vasche zuccherificio'. The site also includes two Areas of Ecological rebalancing 'Casone del partigiano' and 'Ex risaia di Bentivoglio'.

(source http://www.regione.emilia-romagna.it/wcm/natura2000)

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