Andrea Sforzi

Andrea Sforzi
Maremma Natural History Museum

PhD in Evolutionary Biology

About

135
Publications
46,392
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2,030
Citations
Citations since 2017
56 Research Items
1491 Citations
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Introduction
I'm the Director of the Maremma Natural History Museum (Italy). My background is wildlife biology (eco-ethology and conservation of Vertebrates, mainly Mammals). Since 2004 I'm the scientific officer of the Italian Osprey reintroduction project. I took part to the process of setting up the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) and I'm member of its Board of Directors since 2014. I'm the coordinator of the national European Wildcat project in Italy (www.gattoselvatico.it)

Publications

Publications (135)
Article
Full-text available
As part of a long-term monitoring program, more than 80 Mediterranean ospreys Pandion haliaetus (both adults and juveniles) were tagged with GPS-GSM transmitters and tracked to study their spatiotemporal behaviour. Here we document the peculiar and unexpected migration movements performed by three inexperienced (juvenile/immature) individuals, who...
Article
Conservation translocations ( e. g., restocking, reintroductions) represent efficient tools to prevent the extinction or favouring the return of previously extirpated populations into the wild. Evaluating demographic parameters of translocated populations is a key issue to assess and monitor their conservation status and to provide evidences useful...
Article
Full-text available
Like most small felids, the European wildcat Felis silvestris is a rather elusive species, poorly detectable in the wild, due to several aspects of its biology. Camera trapping can represent a suitable tool to understand temporal activity patterns and habitat preferences of such elusive species. We used intensive camera trapping over two full years...
Article
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The European wildcat is a threatened carnivore, whose ecology is still scarcely studied, especially in Mediterranean areas. In this study, we estimated activity rhythm patterns of this felid, by means of camera-trapping at three spatial scales: (i) whole country (Italy); (ii) biogeographical areas; (iii) latitudinal zones. The activity rhythms patt...
Article
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Natural history museums are irreplaceable tools to study and preserve the biological diversity around the globe and among the primary actors in the recognition of species and the logical repositories for their type specimens. In this paper we surveyed the consistency of the preserved specimens of amphibians and reptiles housed in the major Italian...
Poster
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The published distribution of the wildcat in Italy includes three main disjoint sub-areas: Apennine ridge (and ecologically connected areas) from Calabria to Romagna, Sicily and the North-East part of the country. In the last years the species has undergone a significant expansion of its range and several detections have been reported in areas wher...
Article
Evolutionary context matters when moving species. Reintroductions that are not consistent with the evolutionary history of a species, and that will likely alter the species’ future evolution, could prove detrimental to conservation. For osprey conservation, translocation programs that move individuals without accounting for local adaptations betwee...
Article
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Wind turbines and power lines can cause bird mortality due to collision or electrocution. The biodiversity impacts of energy infrastructure (EI) can be minimised through effective landscape-scale planning and mitigation. The identification of high-vulnerability areas is urgently needed to assess potential cumulative impacts of EI while supporting t...
Article
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Protected areas are the cornerstones of biodiversity conservation. Evaluating the effectiveness of PAs for protecting peculiar habitats and sensitive species is of paramount importance to ultimately assess their long-term effects on biological communities. We evaluated the importance of the PAs network at intercontinental scale, across Europe and A...
Article
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Over the past decades, advances in technology have radically changed the way environmental data collection can be performed. Web-based facilities and smartphone apps have become increasingly common, considerably widening the opportunities offered to contribute to monitoring activities. Biodiversity data gathering solutions inspired by citizen scien...
Article
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The conference 'The European wildcat in Italy: current knowledge and future prospects' is the first thematic national meeting of a series of annual events called 'Fauna' dedicated to the figure of the zoologist Bernardino Ragni. The meetings started in 2019 with a conference dealing with the person and career of Prof. Ragni one year after his death...
Conference Paper
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Proceedings of "Fauna 2020", the Italian conference on the European wildcat dedicated to the memory of Prof. Bernardino Ragni
Article
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Adult specimens of Trichuris sp. collected from crested porcupines (Hystrix cristata) from Italy were characterized using an integrative taxonomic approach involving morphological and mo-lecular tools. The morphological features of this Trichuris sp. were compared to data already available for Trichuris spp. from Hystrix sp., revealing diagnostic t...
Article
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Flying over the open sea is energetically costly for terrestrial birds. Despite this, over-water journeys of many birds, sometimes hundreds of kilometres long, are uncovered by bio-logging technology. To understand how these birds afford their flights over the open sea, we investigated the role of atmospheric conditions, specifically wind and uplif...
Article
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Humans have transformed most landscapes across the globe, forcing other species to adapt in order to persist in increasingly anthropogenic landscapes. Wide-ranging solitary species, such as wild felids, struggle particularly in such landscapes. Conservation planning and management for their long-term persistence critically depends on understanding...
Article
Full-text available
Citizen science has expanded rapidly over the past decades. Yet, defining citizen science and its boundaries remained a challenge, and this is reflected in the literature—for example in the proliferation of typologies and definitions. There is a need for identifying areas of agreement and disagreement within the citizen science practitioners commun...
Article
Full-text available
We used both satellite tracking and carbon, nitrogen and sulphur stable isotopic analysis (SIA) to infer wintering ecology and habitat use of the Corsican osprey Pandion haliaetus population. A control sample of feathers from 75 individuals was collected within the osprey's northern hemisphere breeding range, to assess the SIA variability across ha...
Preprint
Citizen science has expanded rapidly over the past decades. Yet, defining citizen science and its boundaries remained a challenge, and this is reflected in the literature - for example in the proliferation of typologies and definitions. There is a need for identifying areas of agreement and disagreement within the citizen science practitioners comm...
Preprint
Full-text available
The open sea is considered an ecological barrier to terrestrial bird movement. However, over-water journeys of many terrestrial birds, sometimes hundreds of kilometers long, are being uncovered by bio-logging technology. To understand how these birds afford their flights over the open sea, we investigated the role of atmospheric conditions in subsi...
Book
Full-text available
Ormai si può affermare con certezza: dopo 42 anni di assenza, il falco pescatore è tornato tra noi. L'ambizioso progetto di reintroduzione iniziato con il prelievo dei pulcini in Corsica nel 2006 è stato coronato, dopo 5 anni, dalla prima, storica nidificazione nel Parco Regionale della Maremma. E' questa bellissima storia di sopravvivenza e speran...
Article
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Due to its peculiarity to accumulate environmental contaminants, the osprey Pandion haliaetus is a sentinel species for the biomonitoring of contaminants in aquatic ecosystems. Despite this, no information on trace element concentration exists for the Mediterranean area, where relict and vulnerable osprey populations exist. We evaluated the geograp...
Article
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The growing interest in emerging environmental crisis has increased the level of public attention and the willingness to take part in participatory science projects, commonly defined with the term “Citizen Science”. This phenomenon can be recorded globally in many national contexts, with a prevalence in anglophone and more industrialized countries....
Article
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The threat to the survival of many species, caused by emerging ecological crises, has favored the development of a new environmental awareness. In recent decades, especially in the most industrialized nations, an increasing participation of citizens in the collection of scientific data has also been recorded. The active involvement of society in di...
Article
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The Maremma Natural History Museum is active in the field of Citizen Science at the Tuscan, national and international level. Among the founding bodies of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA), it has promoted meetings for a national Citizen Science strategy in Italy, actively participated in the drafting of national guidelines on the sub...
Article
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In recent decades, many natural history museums in Europe have integrated their traditional functions with new ways of interacting with visitors and local communities. In particular, the need to adapt their mission according to the changes in modern society has led them to develop initiatives aiming at an active involvement of the public in scienti...
Article
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Over the last few years, there has been a profound change in the way scientific institutions interact with the public, in a context of openness and direct involvement. Many natural history museums, thanks to their long history of collaboration with their communities of passionate naturalists, are among the subjects that mostly contributed to this...
Article
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Un report divulgativo che racchiude i principali risultati dei primi cinque BioBlitz organizzati dal Museo di Storia Naturale della Maremma. Un lavoro rivolto a tutti, ma sprattutto ai tantissimi Citizen Scientists che hanno contribuito con la loro partecipazione diretta alla raccolta dei dati qui presentati.
Article
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This paper reports the results of the BioBlitz organized by the Maremma Natural History Museum in May 2015 within the “Torrente Trasubbie” Site of Regional Importance. This activity is part of the public involvement events for the collection of scientific data that the Museum organizes on a regular basis. During BioBlitz 2015, data collected attest...
Poster
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Survival is a key parameter for the management and conservation of wildlife and to evaluate the success of reintroductions. We estimated survival of Eurasian griffon vultures in the central-southern Apennine from telemetry data with a staggered entry design (Kaplan-Meier procedure as modified by Pollock). Nineteen vultures have been captured and fi...
Article
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The constant evaluation of any reintroduction programme is extremely important for planning management and conservation strategies aimed at reducing post-fledging mortality and, ultimately, influence the successful establishment of adults over time. In 2011, after >40 years from local extinction, Osprey started to breed again in Italy, in the same...
Article
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Many raptors build multiple nest structures to be used alternatively in different seasons or years. The construction and maintenance of alternative nests require a considerable investment in term of energy, which might be offset by evolutionary benefits. One of the evident advantages of such strategy is the reduced exposure to ectoparasites (especi...
Chapter
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The chapter describes the results of an Archeozoological study carried out on animal remains from the XV century found in a city well in Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy. Among many domestic and wild species, the most represented one is Bubalus bubalis, rarely reported for that period in central Italy. The chapter (in Italian) reports the main findings alo...
Article
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In the 21st century, nature-based tourism has often reached the magnitude of mass-tourism. Even if it generates substantial revenues which may contribute to enhanced conservation, this industry is based on finite resources, such as accessible places rich in scenic beauty or charismatic wildlife. This is very much the case for the UNESCO site of Scan...
Article
Most large raptors on migration avoid crossing the sea because of the lack of atmospheric convection over temperate seas. The osprey Pandion haliaetus is an exception among raptors, since it can fly over several hundred kilometres of open water. We equipped five juvenile ospreys with GPS-Accelerometer-Magnetometer loggers. All birds were able to fi...
Presentation
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Short synthesis of the present knowledge about Felis s. silvestris in North Western Italy, with some new data (2017) about its presence in the area. Conference PPT to stimulate the attention on this area, where the species seemed extinct from 1972.
Chapter
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Natural history museums (NHMs) have a long history of collaboration with the amateur-expert naturalist community. A tradition of two-way knowledge sharing that continues today. Over time, NHMs have renewed their functions within society and assumed a relevance not only for the conservation of collections, but also for engaging society in the genera...
Article
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Since the 1970s, the crested porcupine Hystrix cristata has shown a marked range expansion in Italy. A web page has been created to collect occurrences of this species to monitor its distribution redefinition. Thus, aims of this work were (i) to identify the main predictors promoting the distribution of this large rodent in Italy and (ii) to predic...
Article
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The development of migratory behaviour is a continuous process which is not only determined by genes, but also moulded by individual differences based on life-history variations occurring at each ontogenetic stage. Assessing consistency and plasticity in migratory traits between long distance (LDM) and short distance migratory (SDM) populations wit...
Article
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Citizen science is growing as a field of research with contributions from diverse disciplines, promoting innovation in science, society, and policy. Inter- and transdisciplinary discussions and critical analyses are needed to use the current momentum to evaluate, demonstrate, and build on the advances that have been made in the past few years. This...
Article
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Over the last decade, a growing number of countries in Europe have acknowledged the potential of citizen science as an effective model to inspire the science-policy interface and its role in the context of Responsible Research and Innovation. This has led to the establishment of national networks to facilitate coordination and communication of proj...
Article
Disturbance of wildlife by ecotourism has become a major concern in the last decades. In the Mediterranean, sea-based tourism and related recreational activities are increasing rapidly, especially within marine protected areas (MPAs) hosting emblematic biodiversity. We investigated the impact of ecotourism in the Scandola MPA (UNESCO World Heritage...
Article
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The crested porcupine Hystrix cristata is the largest rodent in Italy, where it is strictly protected according to national and international laws. The species is almost exclusively nocturnal and quite elusive: its presence may be yet recorded through the detection of quills lost on the ground. In the last 40 years, the crested porcupine showed a r...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a long-lived fish-eating raptor at the top of the aquatic food web, which can adapt to anthropized environments (potentially highly contaminated). Due to its high ability to accumulate contaminants spread in the environment, the osprey has been historically used world-wide as a sentinel species for the biomonitorin...
Article
Full-text available
Much can be at stake depending on the choice of words used to describe citizen science, because terminology impacts how knowledge is developed. Citizen science is a quickly evolving field that is mobilizing people’s involvement in information development, social action and justice, and large-scale information gathering. Currently, a wide variety of...
Article
Full-text available
Much can be at stake depending on the choice of words used to describe citizen science, because terminology impacts how knowledge is developed. Citizen science is a quickly evolving field that is mobilizing people’s involvement in information development, social action and justice, and large-scale information gathering. Currently, a wide variety of...
Poster
Full-text available
In Italia sono numerosi i siti paleontologici con resti di macro- e microvertebrati fossili tardo Pleistocenici provenienti da contesti ipogei o concentrati all’interno di cavità naturali. La maggior parte di queste località sono conosciute e molto ben documentate nella letteratura fin dall’inizio del XX secolo. In Toscana meridionale sono concentr...
Article
Full-text available
Although the behavioural ecology of the European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris) has been studied in several European countries, its home-range size is still poorly known due to elusive behaviour of the species living in typically low population densities. In our study, 11 wildcats from two distinct areas, the Maremma Regional Park (Tuscany;...
Article
Full-text available
The eastern grey squirrel is listed among the worst invasive species throughout the world. This species of Ameri- can origin is currently replacing the native Eurasian red squirrel in most of the Great Britain, as well as in parts of Ireland and Italy. It may debark trees and exert damages to woodlands and tree plantations. Therefore, its spread ma...
Article
Old World porcupines are elusive, nocturnal rodents who pair for life, exhibiting frequent socio-sexual behaviour also outside the breeding period. Only anecdotal observations on captive individuals are available on the reproductive behaviour of the crested porcupine Hystrix cristata, a Sub-Saharan and North African large rodent probably introduced...
Article
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The monitoring of population trends of wild ungulates is important to evaluate their population dynamics and to develop sound conservation/management plans. The wild boar Sus scrofa can impose heavy impacts on ecosytems and human activities, as well as be responsible for disease transmission. Estimating abundance of wild boars is a challenging issu...
Article
Context Human activities can induce behavioural and stress responses in wild animals. Information is scarce on the effects of culling on anti-predator behaviour and endogenous stress response of wild ungulates. Aims In a Mediterranean area, we evaluated the effects of culling on vigilance, foraging and endogenous stress response of female fallow de...
Article
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Background: The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is one of only six bird species with an almost world-wide distribution. We aimed at clarifying its phylogeographic structure and elucidating its taxonomic status (as it is currently separated into four subspecies). We tested six biogeographical scenarios to explain how the species' distribution and differ...
Article
The crested porcupine Hystrix cristata is a large body-sized rodent, occurring in Europe only in the Italian Peninsula, where it may have been introduced in early Medieval times. Its parasite fauna is currently poorly known and limited to few anecdotal observations. We have analyzed the ectoparasite load of 165 crested porcupines from Tuscany and L...
Article
The crested porcupine Hystrix cristata is a large body-sized rodent, occurring in Europe only in the Italian Peninsula, where it may have been introduced in early Medieval times. Its parasite fauna is currently poorly known and limited to few anecdotal observations. We have analyzed the ectoparasite load of 165 crested porcupines from Tuscany and L...
Article
Full-text available
Capsule Sex-biased dispersal and an age-dependent effect in survival rate accounted for the pattern of first settlement and reproduction in a newly reintroduced Osprey population. Aims We estimate the survival of translocated individuals, describe juvenile movements and evaluate the success of first breeding events to document the re-establishment...
Article
Predation avoidance is one of the main factors determining nocturnal activity of mammals, which has been shaped by evolution in relation to local environmental variables. The nocturnal activity of 16 female and 11 male radio-tagged adult crested porcupines Hystrix cristata was studied in four study sites of Southern Tuscany (Central Italy), with di...
Article
Full-text available
The impact ofwild boar Sus scrofa and feral pigs on ecosystems and human activities is of interest worldwide. Bait-delivered pharmaceuticals such as contraceptives or disease vaccines are increasingly advocated to assist the management of such impacts. We evaluated the Boar-Operated- System (BOS™) to deliver baits to wild boar in a Mediterranean ar...
Conference Paper
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The study of exploration and dispersal behaviour is a key component of conservation-related research on any animal species. This is especially true for populations living in fragmented habitats that are isolated or too small to be self-sustainable. In this framework the case of the Osprey Pandion haliaetus in the Mediterranean basin is of notable i...
Article
Full-text available
In the last few decades, the crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata L., 1758) showed a marked range expansion in Italy. Published and unpublished material was collected to reconstruct this phenomenon. Data were gathered by means of: (i) specific papers on crested porcupine distribution and more generic books and articles, (ii) expert collaboration in...
Article
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In this note we describe for the first time the inner structure of bezoars found in the stomach of a free-living crested porcupine. These foreign bodies were composed by three concentric layers made up of vegetal matter. The presence of nettle trichomes in the central core, probably due to an accidental ingestion, may have determined the developmen...