Accessibility statement

Claudia Capitani
Research Fellow



Starting as a biologist with a strong interest in wildlife conservation, throughout my professional career I have developed a multidisciplinary background including land use modelling, policy impact assessment and human community development. My current research interest is in integrating the conservation of natural capital with socio-economic development in developing countries, particularly in the context of climate change effects and mitigation policies. 


Research Fellow University of York (Department of Environment and Geography)
Project Coordinator Oikos East Africa (international cooperation)
Post Doc Researcher European Commission Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Biodiversity and GIS Consultant Nature Conservation Service of Arezzo government
Doctorate University of Sassari (Environmental Biology)
Wildlife Ecologist University of Pisa and Sassari, Wildlife Service of Arezzo Government
Masters University of Pisa and Siena (Biological Sciences, GIS and Remote Sensing)


University of Pisa (Biological Sciences)



WWF-REDD+ project in Tanzania

Assessing the carbon storage within different ecosystem in Tanzania, and carbon stock changes under different scenarios. Project steps:

-          Scenario building for the REDD policy in Tanzania, through a participatory process involving different stakeholders, and including multiple scale and multidisciplinary approach.

-          Production of future land cover maps.

-          Assessment of land cover and carbon stock changes.

-          Impacts of REDD policy, assessment of co-benefits (biodiversity and poverty alleviation).


In the last decades, in developing countries exploitation of natural resources has occurred to an extremely high and often unsustainable rate, producing habitat destruction and fragmentation, and consequently loss of biodiversity and depletion of ecosystem services.

In this context, climate change is at the same time a result and a driver of socio-economic and environmental changes. Tackling climate change through mitigation and adaptation actions then could produce cascade effects not only on bio-geochemical cycles, but even on biodiversity and poverty alleviation.

Today, deforestation and forest degradation generate fifteen to twenty percent of global GHG emissions, due to activities such as agriculture, wood fuel collection, and conversion to pastureland, infrastructure development, logging and mining, driven by either local needs or international markets.

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries, including conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, (REDD+) has been identified as one critical approach in mitigating global climate change by reducing the levels of greenhouse gas emissions that enter our atmosphere. Creating a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, REDD+ should offer incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. The provision of benefits for development, including poverty alleviation and gender dimensions, is also deemed to be a key factor for the successful implementation of REDD+ scheme.

In Tanzania, forests and woodlands cover approximately 38% of the mainland surface, and deforestation rate has been estimated at 1%/yr in the period 1990-2005 (FAO-FRA 2010). Major drivers of deforestation and forest degradation are firewood collection and charcoal production for domestic use, and subsistence agriculture expansion. At the current yearly growth rate of 2.7%, population is estimated to double in the next 26 years, therefore increasing pressure on forest and woodland conversion, and ultimately determining carbon stock loss. WWF Tanzania Country Office is one of the recipients of Norwegian REDD+ pilot project funding and works at national scale for contributing core data to the Tanzanian national monitoring, reporting and verifying (MRV) system, and building capacity for sustainability in the future.

Research group(s)

York Institute for Tropical Ecosystems (KITE)


Selected publications

Peer reviewed

Davis ML, Stephens PA, Willis SG, Bassi E., Marcon A., et al. (2012) Prey Selection by an Apex Predator: The Importance of Sampling Uncertainty. PLoS ONE 7(10): e47894. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047894

Mattioli L., Capitani C., Scandura M., Apollonio M. 2011. Prey selection and dietary response by wolves in a high-density multi-species ungulate community. Eur J Wildl Res 57(4): 909-922.

Scandura M., Iacolina M., Capitani C., Gazzola A., Mattioli L., Apollonio M. 2011. Fine-scale genetic structure suggests low levels of short-range gene flow in a wolf population of the Italian Apennines. Eur J Wildl Res 57(4): 949-958.

Iacolina M., Scandura M., Gazzola A., Cappai N., Capitani C., Mattioli L., Vercillo F., Apollonio M. 2010. Y-chromosome microsatellite variation in Italian wolves: a contribution to the study of wolf-dog hybridization patterns. Mammalian Biology 75: 341-347.

Gazzola A., Capitani C., Avanzinelli E., Mattioli L., And Apollonio M. 2008. Livestock-damage and wolf presence. Journal of Zoology 274 (3) , 261–269.

Capitani C., Mattioli L., Avanzinelli E., Gazzola A., Lamberti P., Mauri L., Scandura M., Viviani A., Apollonio M. 2006. Selection of rendezvous sites and reuse of pup raising areas among wolves Canis lupus of north-eastern Apennines, Italy. Acta Theriologica 51(4): 395-404.

Scandura M. , Capitani C., Iacolina L., Apollonio M. 2006.An empirical approach for reliable microsatellite genotyping of wolf DNA from multiple non-invasive sources. Conservation Genetics 7: 813-823.

Mattioli L., Capitani C., Avanzinelli E., Bertelli, I. Gazzola A., Apollonio M. 2004. Wolf predation on a roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) population of north-eastern Apennine, Italy. Journal of Zoology (London) 264: 249-258.

Capitani C, Bertelli I., Varuzza P., Apollonio M. 2004. A comparative analysis of wolf (Canis lupus) diet in three different Italian ecosystems.. Mammalian Biology, 69: 1-10.

Other publications

Paracchini M.L., Capitani C. et al. 2012. Measuring societal awareness of the rural agrarian landscape: indicators and scale issues. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. 130 pp. EUR Scientific and Technical Research series: ISSN 1831-9424 (online), ISSN 1018-5593 (print).

Hiederer R., Ramos F., Capitani C., Koeble R., Blujdea V., Gomez O., Mulligan D. and Marelli L.. 2010. Biofuels: a New Methodology to Estimate GHG Emissions from Global Land Use Change. A methodology involving spatial allocation of agricultural land demand and estimation of CO2 and N2O emissions. EUR 24483 EN. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. 150pp.

Claudia Capitani

Contact details

Dr Claudia Capitani
Research Fellow
Department of Environment and Geography
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 432662