Gianluca Serra

Gianluca Serra
conservationist & practitioner · freelance

PhD

About

60
Publications
30,511
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
486
Citations
Introduction
Front-line conservation practitioner, focused on endangered species. Interested in ethno-ornithology and using traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) to assess conservation status and detect rare, threatened and elusive species. I am aware that research is only a little part of conservation, just the beginning. Species are not saved with nice publications. Conservation is about prompting change in human behavior.
Additional affiliations
June 2015 - present
freelance consultant and activist
Position
  • freelance consultant and activist
January 2002 - March 2015
UN-FAO, UNDP, Govt. of Syria, Govt. of Samoa
Position
  • biodiversity expert
Description
  • Worked with indigenous hunters of the Syrian desert (nomadic Bedouins) in relation to critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis (2002-2004); and with Samoan hunters, in Oceania, in relation to critically endangered Tooth-billed Pigeon/Manumea (2015-2016).

Publications

Publications (60)
Book
Full-text available
This is a case study about the 9-year conservation efforts that were put in place between the Middle East and East Africa with the aim of preventing the extinction of the last known colony of oriental Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita. The conservation saga spans from the time of the discovery of an unreported relict colony of this species...
Article
Full-text available
The long-range, migratory eastern relict population of Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita has been steadily declining since the time of discovery in 2002, despite the protection programme in place at the breeding grounds in Syria. Assessing the ecological conditions and threats along the migration route and at the wintering site, both discovered...
Article
Full-text available
Since its discovery in 2002 the small colony of northern bald ibis Geronticus eremita in the central Syrian desert remains at perilously low numbers, despite good productivity and some protection at their breeding grounds. The Syrian birds are migratory and return rates of young birds appear to have been poor but because the migration route and win...
Article
Full-text available
The eastern population of the northern bald ibis Geronticus eremita had been presumed extinct following the loss of the colony in Birecik, Turkey, in 1989. However, occasional sightings of birds in Yemen, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia and Israel during the 1980s and 1990s suggested that there was still a colony somewhere in the Middle East. Intensive field...
Article
1. Different size classes of the muricid Concholepas concholepas (Bruguiere)(small and medium subadult specimens inhabiting mainly the high- and mid-intertidal, and large adult ones inhabiting mainly the subtidal) were assessed for handling times and diet selection by offering them three different sizes of the high-intertidal mussel Perumytilus pur...
Preprint
Full-text available
Primo report del progetto di citizen science chiamato "Piccoli Fototrappolatori Indipendenti"
Article
An updated and comprehensive compilation and review of the historical breeding sites of the Northern Bald Ibis in Syria and south-eastern Turkey is presented accompanied by all available details. The original sources, dating from the first half of the 19th century to 2010, were thoroughly assessed and reviewed. A detailed distribution map of confir...
Article
Full-text available
The tooth-billed pigeon (Didunculus strigirostris) is an endemic and highly cryptic bird of the rainforest canopy of Samoa. According to the recently released Tooth-billed Pigeon Recovery Plan (2020–2029), one of the greatest obstacles to conservation efforts is the inability of ornithologists to reliably separate its advertising coo call from that...
Technical Report
Full-text available
All information related to Manumea (Didunculus strigirostris) conservation work, carried out between 2006 and 2016, was reviewed by a task force of senior ornithologists and ecologists with the aim to assess the degree of achievement of the 8 objectives, and the level of implementation of related actions, of the Manumea Recovery Plan (MRP) 2006-201...
Technical Report
Full-text available
and related references. The following lessons learned were distilled and drawn from the desktop review: ▪ Community-based conservation areas seem the only viable and sustainable approach to conserve nature in Samoa. ▪ Preconditions to any effort are the need of: a) good level of knowledge of the socio-economy of the target community, its cultural a...
Article
Full-text available
Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) rigorously collected in four Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) of Samoa provided conservation and ecological insights about the endemic and evolutionarily distinctive Tooth-billed Pigeon Didunculus strigirostris. This study confirmed the 2006 estimate of a sharply declining population, supporting the recent conser...
Book
Full-text available
La Siria, all’epoca, era ancora un sonnacchioso paese dittatoriale travestito da repubblica. Nel bel mezzo di un progetto di cooperazione internazionale finalizzato a creare una riserva naturale nel deserto di Palmira, Gianluca Serra scopre l’ultima colonia dell’Ibis eremita, un uccello dall’aspetto favoloso e bizzarro che si considerava estinto in...
Technical Report
Full-text available
For the first time traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) was utilized in Samoa with the aim to detect and assess occurrence and status of rare and threatened fauna. A rigorous methodology through a standard questionnaire was discussed and designed with the aim to gain objective and reliable TEK about biodiversity at village level. Special care was...
Article
Full-text available
The poor survival rate of immature northern bald ibises Geronticus eremita during their first years spent outside the natal site is driving the last known wild colony of the migratory eastern population to extinction. To inform emergency conservation action for this Critically Endangered species we investigated the distribution range and behaviour...
Article
Full-text available
Eight years after the discovery of the last survivors of the eastern population of Northern Bald Ibis in Syria, their breeding grounds within the Palmyra steppe remain threatened by habitat degradation, human disturbance and uncontrolled infrastructural development whilst the ibis colony size has continued to decline. This study is aimed at assisti...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Northern Bald Ibis was once widespread across northern Africa, the Middle East and even the Alps (IAGNBI 2010). By 1997 the bird's population had fallen to fewer than 50 pairs, largely confined to coastal cliffs within the National Park, near Agadir in Morocco (IAGNBI 2010). This long-term decline has been driven by human disturbance and persec...
Article
Full-text available
A relict colony of Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita), a critically endangered species, was unexpectedly discovered in Syria in 2002. During six subsequent breeding seasons (2002–2007), the 3, and then 2, breeding pairs of Northern Bald Ibises have shown to be still vital and, when intensively protected, showed a higher average breeding succes...
Article
Full-text available
We estimated bobcat (Lynx rufus) density for 3 different locations in northern California using active infrared-triggered cameras. Using differences in pelage pattern as well as other physical characteristics, we identified individual bobcats from photographs, and used mark-recapture techniques to estimate population density. Camera density affecte...
Article
Full-text available
The last handful of individuals from the eastern population of the critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) have been closely observed and monitored during the breeding seasons 2002–2004 and 2006 in their breeding quarters in the Syrian desert. The home range used by the ibises was estimated to be up to about 450 km², which was...
Article
Full-text available
Ruppell's fox Vulpes rueppelli (Schinz 1825) and Sand cat Felis margarita (Loche 1858) were detected and identified several times during period May 2000 and December 2001 within a protected area of the central Syrian desert, in proximity of the ancient and world renown ruins of Palmyra (34.562º N, 38.280º E). The occurrence of both species was susp...
Article
Full-text available
New data on Syrian amphibians and reptiles collected between 1990 and 2004 are given. The most important findings are the Elapid snake Walterinnesia aegyptia [now W. morgani], here reported for the first time from Syria; Zamenis hohenackeri and Vipera xanthina [sensu lato], previously known only from Mount Hermon, and the very rare and poorly known...
Article
Full-text available
Sabkhat al Jabbul is a large wetland lying between the fertile cultivated areas around Aleppo, the Euphrates basin and the Syrian steppe. In the last 20 years, it has been modified from a typical seasonal saline lake (sabkhat) to a complex wetland eco-system with three separate waterbodies that vary from saline to brackish. The maximum water surfac...
Article
Full-text available
New data on Syrian amphibians and reptiles collected between 1990 and 2004 are given. The most important findings are the Elap~d snake Walterznnesza aegyptza, here reported for the first time from Syna; Zamenzs hohenackerz and Vzpera xanthzna, previously known only from Mount Hermon; and the very rare and poorly known Telescopus nzgriceps and Lytor...
Data
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Serra G., Abdallah M., Assaed A., Al Qaim G., Abdallah A.
Article
Full-text available
2005. A long-term bird survey of central Syrian desert (2000-2003) – Part 2. .
Article
Full-text available
An automated photographic technique was used to collect quantitative information on the activity patterns of Fissurella crassa under heavy-exposed sea conditions. The activity of this key-hole limpet was confined to nocturnal low tides. Total length of excursions was significantly greater during spring tides than neap tides, as was the maximum dist...
Article
The difference in depth distributions of adult sea urchins Arbacia lixula L. and Paracentrotus lividus Lamarck (Echinodermata: Echinoidea) was assessed along a transect on a steeply and exposed stretch of the Tyrrhenian coast (Elba Island, Tuscany) in the four seasons of the year. P. lividus was always deeper zoned than A. lixula throughout the yea...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
PFI's main aim is to systematically collect wildcat camera trap data from citizen scientists in Italy.
Project
Ethno-ornithology and TEK to save unique bird of Samoa