WILDITALYFILM presents ” The land of biodiversity”



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The Land of Biodiversity


A 7-episode series of natural history films about Italian wildlife  


directed by

Francesco Petretti


The series

In the heart of the Mediterranean region there is a special world, where bears and eagles live still free among the vestiges of a distant past.

It is a true treasure-trove of biodiversity that, from the Alps to the beautiful islands facing Africa, is home of  riches of inestimable value, thousands of species of plants and animals, including the continent’s largest predators.

This is Italy: here, a wild heart still beats side by side to art and history.



About the Film director

The films “The land of the biodiversity”  have been written and directed by  Francesco Petretti, film director and biologist. He is member of the Scientific Committee of WWF and has been the head of the  Biodiversity Program of the same association, dealing with protection of natural resources and endangered species.

He has been member of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and of the Working Group on steppe birds of Birdlife; he devoted years to the study the ecology and behavior of birds of prey and   bustards. His studies on the Short toed Eagle  have been the subject of scientific communications and of a monograph.
He collaborates with the magazine Io Donna Corriere della Sera and is Scientific Director of the magazine OASIS.

He commented the series of National Geographic Great Migrations in Italy and directed a number of nature films that were broadcasted by the major TV networks in the Italian Program PAN Natural Stories (RAI 3), Quark (RAI1), Geo & Geo (RAI3 ) and were honored at national and international festivals (festival Wildscreen BBC Bristol in 1985 “The life of the Snake Eagle,” film festival of the mountain of Trento 1989, ornithological film festival in Menigoute).

Author and presenter of radio and television programs on  Animals, Science and Environmental issues as “The ring of King Solomon” for RAI Radio 2, the “page of Science” for RAI Radio 3, “Green Space” (Stream TV). Since 1997 he is an expert naturalist program GEO & GEO for RAI 3 and is a scientific advisor to various television programs (Quark, Northwest Passage, Explora).




The Serengeti of the insects : the bush  (48 min)

The Saga pedo is not a lion or a leopard, it is simply a predatory bush cricket. It is able to kill creatures  which are as big as itself and so it can be considered the true king of the creatures that inhabit the Mediterranean steppe in the South  of Italy, where animals  are born and die every day just like in the most spectacular  African bushveld


The Serengeti of the insects : the grassy plains (48 min)

They are vast, they are wild, they are the Mediterranean dry steppes of Sardinia and Apulia, grazed by free ranging herds of cattle, horses and sheep and inhabited by an amazing community of invertebrates.

The fauna  includes six-legged herbivores, scavengers, predators which , in spite of their small sizes, live the same life of the much larger inhabitants of African savannahs.


L’aigle et le serpent  ( 49 min)

The Short-toed Eagle feeds mainly on snakes. Although it is widespread in many Mediterranean countries, this large bird of prey is able to hide very well thanks to its shy behaviour at the nest. Moreover its snake-based diet keeps it far away from human settlements. This eagle is a true trans-Saharan  migratory bird which  in early spring move towards Europe to nest in dense evergreen maquis. The film describes in full details the life cycle of the eagle families.


Salt flats ( 50 min)

Italy salt flats go back to  the Phoenicians and to the Roman times. They are still the main source of salt for  most  European countries, where salt  is used to keep roads free from ice and to make meals more tasteful. Salt flats can also be considered biodiversity jewels, because they host impressive colonies of gulls, terns, waders and flamingos, which rear  their chicks  close to the men who harvest the salt today as well as 2000 years ago. 


Treasure’s islands ( 50 min)

Small rock islands, located off the coast of Sardinia and Sicily, at the same latitude of central Tunisia, are home of pelagic seabirds, which come here to find sheltered sites for their nests. They arrive during the night and crowd underground caves. Man and birds interact in many ways and together with tuna, which is still culled in the traditional tonnara of Carloforte, their life depends on the complexity of the fragile pelagic equilibrium.


The journey of the snowfinches ( 49 min)

The southernmost glacier in Europe lies at 2800 metres of altitude in Gran Sasso, a striking massif located in the central Apennines, the heart of Italy. This glacier is gradually retreating and the typical arctic plants and animals which all around gives life to it are at high risk. Especially the Snowfinch, the charming sparrow-sized bird, which is able to nest at the real top of the mountain and to overcome the strong winter storms, typical of this environment.



Roma caput avium ( 50 min)

Birds have always held a special place in the history of Rome, ever since they indicated the place where Romulus should found the city.

It was by observing the flight of cranes that the first king of Rome knew that it was on the Palatine hill, on the banks of the Tiber, that the gods wanted to site the city that was to dominate the Ancient World

A lot of water has passed under the bridges of the River Tiber since then, but the birds continue to be a living, even intrusive, presence.

It could be said that Rome is in the hands, or rather in the claws, of the birds.

Among the hundreds of different species of birds that live more or less regularly in Rome, two compete for the title of rulers of the city: the herring gull and the hooded crow.

Indeed, we will witness a fight to the last feather that will in the end decide which of them will eventually take over the city.