Urban ornithological atlases are now frequent in many cities in Italy. The purpose of this cataloguing goes beyond a simple indication of existence, nesting or wintering. These atlases, in fact, may become important tools when used for city planning and bird monitoring.
The Bird Atlas of the City of Venice is based on the national standards for research on birds in urban environments, already encoded by the working group (Italian Journal of Ornithology, vol. 64/2: 141-149). The project duration is at least three years, but also data already available in 2006 and 2007 will be elaborated. The breeding and winteringseason will be considered: periods during which species are particularly linked to the territory, so there are more indications of conservation and behaviour.
The choice of the area of study, although the search is on urban environments, is extended to almost the entire municipality, with the exception of lagoon areas, as fish farms. Therefore, the area is particularly broad: the Municipality of Venice area is over 413 hectares, of which 253 are occupied by the Lagoon.
The map grid, which was adopted as the basis for most of the European Ornithological Atlases, is the cartographic projection UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) used mainly for compatibility with international mapping systems. Starting from this grid, the territory of the City of Venice has been divided into geographical units of 1 km side.
The size of the grid have been chosen to obtain the maximum spatial resolution, compatibly with the number of available detectors. Advantages offered by this grid are obvious: immutability over the time, similar coverage for the entire area, possibility of comparisons on local, temporal and geographic scale, possibility of statistical processing of data and a graphic representation easy to read.
The initiative was created by the Natural History Museum of Venice Giancarlo Ligabue in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Sciences, University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, the Observatory for the Lagoon of the Venice City Council, the Police Force and the Province of Venice, and the Associatione Faunisti Veneti. Project coordinators are Mauro Bon, Cecilia Soldatini, Massimo Semenzato and Emanuele Stival.