life eolizard

A project co-funded by the European Union, developed by Triton in collaboration with key scientific partners, dedicated to the conservation, repopulation and protection of the Aeolian Lizard, Podarcis raffonei.



Launched on June 1, 2023, LIFE EOLIZARD (101114121 LIFE22-NAT-IT-LIFE EOLIZARD), co-funded by the LIFE Program European of Union aims to protect the critically endangered Aeolian lizard, endemic of the Aeolian Archipelago. 

Triton ETS developed the project with important scientific partners. Over five years, the project addresses habitat threats and implements a repopulation program to ensure the species’ long-term survival.

Podarcis raffonei su Isolotto di Strombolicchio
Credit: Leonardo Vignoli


The Aeolian Archipelago is known for its natural beauty and biodiversity, among which stands the Aeolian lizard. This small endemic saurian known for its resilience, faces significant threats from habitat degradation, human activities, and the invasive Podarcis siculus. These factors have drastically reduced the presence of this species, which is now confined to a few islets of the Aeolian Islands. 

In response to this critical situation, the LIFE EOLIZARD project was designed to protect the Aeolian lizard’s remaining populations and ensure its long-term survival. Moreover, the project aims to find new species populations on other archipelago islets and reduce their risk of extinction.



The project is the result of a strategic and competent collaboration. The partnership includes several institutions and organizations that come together to achieve the common goal of conservation of the Aeolian lizard and its habitat.

Beneficiary Coordinator

The Department of Science of the University of Roma Tre focuses on both basic and applied issues of environmental biology, from the evolution of organisms to the management of ecosystems. Specific themes include animal ecology and conservation biology. In particular, he has been involved for decades in studies and projects on the conservation of endangered amphibians in Italy, in particular in the in-situ and ex-situ conservation of the Aeolian lizard.


The Bioparc Foundation of Rome promotes the conservation of biodiversity through the preservation of endangered species, environmental education and scientific research. The Bioparc is a member of EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and WAZA (World Union of Zoos and Aquariums) and UIZA (Italian Union of Zoos and Aquariums) and collaborates with other international zoological structures for the conservation of endangered species.


Triton ETS is an organisation specialised in communicating and raising awareness of marine ecosystems. Its main objective is the protection of the sea, as it is essential for human survival. The staff of the association is composed by professionals working in the field of conservation and dissemination, as well as for the management of projects.


The Department of Life Sciences, Health and Environment of the University of L'Aquila promotes, coordinates and organizes research activities in multiple scientific-disciplinary areas, including environmental sciences. In particular, the long experience of the department in the genetics of reptile populations, historical biogeography and reptile phylogeography, evolutionary biology and conservation biology, will ensure the success of the project.


The National Research Centre (CNR) was founded in 1923 with the mission of carrying out research projects, promoting innovation and internationalization of the national research system and providing solutions to emerging needs in the public and private sectors. The Institute for Research on Terrestrial Ecosystems (IRET) is the Institute most involved in the project. It deals with dynamics, operation, pressures and management of terrestrial ecosystems.

Associate Partner

The Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) is a public research organisation under the supervision of the Minister for Ecological Transition (MITE). ISPRA promotes and implements research and strategic approaches to address biodiversity and habitat conservation issues. The wide range of technical knowledge in the departments allows ISPRA to carry out a series of tasks of national interest for the protection of the environment.

Associated Partner

The Municipality of Malfa is a local authority of the Sicilian Region. Among its political, territorial and economic objectives stands the protection of the environmental and landscape values of the territory. Within these institutional functions, it provides: a) the protection of the natural heritage; b) the protection of the environment and the prevention, control and reduction of pollution.

Associated Partner

The Associacao Biopolis is an internationally recognized biological science research unit that conducts basic and applied research on the three main components of biodiversity: genes, species and ecosystems.

Associated Partner

L'Associacao Biopolis è un'unità di ricerca in scienze biologiche riconosciuta a livello internazionale che conduce ricerche di base e applicate sulle tre componenti principali della biodiversità: geni, specie ed ecosistemi.

Associated Partner

The scientific research of the Department of the University of Milan covers several fields of environmental science, including ecology and conservation biology. The research group is concerned with biodiversity conservation with the following objectives: 1) to study the factors determining the distribution of animal biodiversity on a large spatial scale; 2) improve understanding of biological invasions and their impact on native species; 3) identify conservation strategies at local, landscape and national level.


The partners will pursue the protection of the Aeolian lizard and its habitat through two main fronts of action:

the numerical increase of the population through a captive breeding program, followed by the release in nature, founding two new populations on the islets of Bottaro and Lisca Bianca.

the protection of the Vulcano station where a substantial population of the Aeolian lizard persists on the Capo Grosso promontory, including the control of the black rat population and the containment of shrub vegetation.

In addition, the project aims to increase the engagement of the Aeolian community and all stakeholders, so that the important natural heritage of the Aeolian Islands is protected and enhanced, increasing awareness of the need to preserve the rich biodiversity of the region. Synergy between the partnership members is crucial to the success of the project and to ensure a sustainable future for this critical species.

P. raffonei a Capo Grosso
Credit: Benedetta Gambioli


The LIFE EOLIZARD project is spread over the following geographical areas:

  1. Capo Grosso – Isola di Vulcano (habitat restoration and collection of Podarcis raffonei)
  2. Scoglio Faraglione – Isola di Salina (collection Podarcis raffonei)
  3. Fondazione Bioparco di Roma (Captive Breeding centre)
  4. Malfa – Isola di Salina (Captive Breeding centre)
  5. Isola di Panarea (traslocation of Podarcis siculus from neighboring islets)
  6. Lisca Bianca – Isola di Panarea (Sanctuary of Podarcis raffonei)
  7. Bottaro – Isola di Panarea  (Sanctuary of Podarcis raffonei)

Among the sites of intervention are 3 Natura 2000 Sites (Island of Panarea and Scogli Viciniori, Island of Vulcano, and Aeolian Archipelago – marine and land area) and 2 Nature Reserves (Island of Panarea and Rocks Viciniori and Island of Vulcano).


Press review

In this section you will find some of the press releases of the LIFE Eolizard project. This is a selection of the most significant articles and services that have appeared in the national and international press since summer 2023.

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LIFE-22-NAT-IT-LIFE EOLIZARD (101114121), project co-funded by the LIFE program of the European Union