Dynamique et Conservation de la Biodiversité

Flavio MONTI

altAncien doctorant


Campus du CNRS
1919, route de Mende
34293 Montpellier 5

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Research theme: “Dispersal, migration and connectivity of osprey Pandion haliaetus populations in western Mediterranean”.

My current research focuses on dispersal behaviour in long-lived birds and raptors in particular. The study of exploration and dispersal behaviour is a key component of conservation-related research. Where do individuals go at different times of the year? How far can they disperse? How likely are they to locate and settle in new and suitable habitats? Dispersal is one of the factors that mostly influence animal survival and consequently drive the dynamics and the demographic trends of populations. The aim of my PhD project is to investigate the dispersal behaviour of the osprey Pandion haliaetus. The osprey is a raptor with unique morphological and behavioural features specialized for catching live fish, their only prey. There are less than 100 breeding pairs distributed between Corsica, the Balearics, Morocco and Algeria, and in the last years the species returned to breed in mainland Spain and Italy only thanks to translocation programs. Information on spatial ecology of this raptor species is scarce, particularly for dispersal strategies and movements in the Mediterranean area.

The main goals of my project are:

a) to describe the dispersal and migratory behaviour of ospreys at different spatial and temporal scales;

b) to analyze the movements of ospreys reintroduced in central coastal Italy in relation to those of wild ospreys of Corsica;

c) to investigate the existence of connectivity among populations of osprey within the Mediterranean basin;

d) to study the foraging ecology of the osprey, modelling their need for fish resources in an oligotrophic marine environment like the Mediterranean Sea.

This research would improve our basic knowledge about postnatal dispersal and connectivity in the osprey, allowing to design conservation-related measures for an effective management of the species.

Supervisors: Olivier Duriez and David Gremillet (CEFE-CNRS); Leonida Fusani (University of Ferrara-Italy).

Co-supervisors: Andrea Sforzi (Maremma Regional Park-Italy) and Jean Marie Dominici (PNR Corse, réserve de Scandola).

Partners: Sébastien Renou and Mathieu Thevenet (Initiative Petites Iles de Méditerranée, Conservatoire du Littoral).

Fundings: Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation - Maremma Regional Park - “Bando Vinci” (University Franco-Italienne)


2010 (February) – 2nd level Laurea (MSc) in Biology (Natural Science) – Management and Conservation of the Natural Estate – at the University of Siena (110/110 cum laude). Thesis: “Pre-dispersal behaviour of juvenile ospreys Pandion haliaetus released into the wild” (in Italian). Supervisor: Prof. Sandro Lovari; Co-supervisors: Dr. Giampiero Sammuri & Dr. Andrea Sforzi.

2007 (May) – 1st level Laurea (BSc) in Biology (Natural Science) at the University of Rome “Sapienza” (110/110 cum laude). Thesis: “Preliminary observations on the osprey Pandion haliaetus in the Maremma Regional Park” (in Italian). Supervisor: Prof.ssa Elvira De Matthaeis; Co-supervisors: Dr. Giampiero Sammuri & Dr. Andrea Sforzi.

Scientific Publications:

  1. Monti, F., Nibani, H., Dominici, JM, Rguibi Idrissi H.,Thevenet, M., Beaubrun, PC., Duriez, O. (2013). The vulnerable Osprey breeding population of the Al Hoceima National Park, Morocco: present status and threats. Ostrich, 84(3): 199-204.
  2. Monti, F., Sforzi, A., Dominici, JM. (2012). Post-fledging dependence period of ospreys Pandion haliaetus released in central Italy: home ranges, space use and aggregation. Ardeola, 59(1): 17-30.



Monti, F. (2012). The Osprey, Pandion haliaetus: State of knowledge and conservation of the breeding population of the Mediterranean basin. Initiative PIM, 26p.