Serre chain mountain


The natural setting of the site

This area is located in the narrowest point of the Italian peninsula. Here the Appennines are initially interrupted to the south by the Sila Plateau and to the west and east by the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas. Directly south of this interruption lies a flat and hilly zone (Marcellinara Isthmus) including the Pesipe River valley separating Mount Covello in the middle from Mount Contessa (distance less than 3 km) to the west. The highest reliefs in this area reach 1000 meters a.s.l. and in the upper parts are covered by forests, while at lower altitudes there are cultivated fields and small villages.

The migration survey

Raptors passing in this area in autumn concentrate between Mount Covello and the hills close to western coast. Raptor monitoring occurred in the 90’s and more recently between 2005 and 2007. Up to 4000 Honey Buzzards were counted together with hundreds of Black kites, Marsh Harriers and small falcons (Kestrels, Lesser-Kestrels). The main watchpoint used is on Mount Covello close to the station of bottling mineral water. Important watchpoints are also located on Mount Contessa and close to Filadelfia village.

How to get there?

The closest airport, as well as the closest train station, is located in the town of Lamezia Terme. Villages close to the watchpoints are Girifalco, Jacurso, Filadelfia, San Pietro a Maida.

MEDRAPTORS (Mediterranean Raptor Migration Network)

Main references

  • Condello E.G. 2013. La migrazione post- riproduttiva del Nibbio bruno Milvus migrans attraverso un’area collinare del versante tirrenico calabrese. Alula 20(1-2):126-130.
  • Panuccio M., Agostini N., Lucia G., Mellone U., Ashton-Boot J., Wilson S., Chiatante G. & Todisco S. 2010. Local weather conditions affect migration strategies of adult Western Honey Buzzards (Pernis apivorus) through an isthmus area. Zoological Studies 49(5): 651-656.
  • Agostini N., Panuccio M., Mellone U., Lucia G., Wilson S. & Ashton-Booth J. 2007. Do migration counts reflect population trends? A case study of the Honey Buzzard, Pernis apivorus. Ardeola 54:339-344.
  • Panuccio M., Agostini N., Lucia G., Mellone U., Ashton Booth J., Wilson S., Chiatante G. & Todisco S. 2007. Le Serre Catanzaresi: Important Bird Area (IBA) per la migrazione autunnale dei rapaci. [The Serre Catanzaresi: Important Bird Area for the autumn migration of raptors]. Poster presentation, Proceedings XIV Italian Ornithological Congress: 68.
  • Agostini N. & Logozzo D. 1997. Autumn migration of Accipitriformes through Italy en route to Africa. Avocetta, 21:174-179.
  • Agostini N. & Logozzo D. 1995. Autumn migration of honey buzzards in southern Italy. Journal of Raptor Research, 29:275-277.
  • Agostini N. & Logozzo D. 1995. Osservazioni sulla migrazione autunnale dei rapaci sull’Appennino calabrese. Rivista italiana di Ornitologia, 64:117-120.